Pep Guardiola says Neymar is the closest player to Lionel Messi in terms of individual talent

There are rumours that Neymar could complete a sensational return to Barcelona.

Jordi Cardoner, the Spanish club’s vice-president, has confirmed that the Brazilian is eager to return to the Camp Nou.

“The correct thing is to say that Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, but I do not agree that Barcelona worry about signing Neymar,” Cardoner told El Mundo, per Sky Sports.

There are some hurdles that Barcelona need to overcome first, though. The biggest is the cost to re-sign Neymar; Paris Saint-Germain paid a world-record fee of £200 million to sign him in 2017.

But the rumour has certainly picked up pace over the past few weeks.

It would mean Neymar being reacquainted with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the duo with whom he tore many defences apart between 2014 and 2017.

It is thought that being in Messi’s shadow fuelled Neymar’s desire to leave Barcelona.

‘Neymar is closest to Messi’

But when it comes to individual talent, Pep Guardiola doesn’t think the Brazil international is too far behind his former teammate.

“Not long ago I said that the two toughest opponents I’ve come across in my career – this makes Real Madrid upset – are this year’s Liverpool and Luis Enrique’s Barca,” the Manchester City boss told ARA.

“Barca’s three strikers were unbeatable with Luis Enrique.

“The individual talent that is closest to Messi’s is Neymar’s, especially back then, in terms of his creativity.

“He was the right age.”

Neymar arrived at Barcelona at the age of 21 and went on to win two La Liga titles and the Champions League.

Guardiola continued by explaining just why ‘MSN’ flourished.

“They showed order, dedication and they put in the work, as well as being madly obsessed, like Luis Enrique,” he added.

Two years away from Barcelona seem to have made Neymar realise what he had while he was there.

Playing with Messi wasn’t a hindrance. It was an honour.

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