Lionel Messi begged Neymar to return to Barcelona after 4-0 Liverpool defeat

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Despite being the favourite for the Ballon d'Or, there have still been plenty of low moments for Lionel Messi in 2019.

Barcelona suffered a gutting defeat in the Copa del Rey final against Valencia and Messi's wait for an international trophy continued after Argentina fell short at the Copa America.

However, there can be no doubting that the lowest of the lows came at Anfield when Barcelona surrendered a 3-0 lead against Liverpool and were dumped out of the Champions League.

It was a performance that led many people to question both Messi and Barcelona's bottle, especially when they collapsed in similar fashion against AS Roma just the season before.

And it also added fuel to the fire that Neymar was considering a return this summer and the Spanish press certainly did a great job of suggesting he wanted to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar returning?

For good reason, too, because Barcelona players have since explained that Neymar was indeed chasing a move and could get his hands on a contract in transfer windows to come.

But it seems nobody is more desperate for Neymar to return than Messi himself and that has become vastly apparent in a new report from France Football.

Yes, that is the same organisation that hands out the Ballon d'Or and yes, it's really quite something.

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Messi's message to Neymar

It's sensationally claimed that Messi 'begged' for Neymar to return, not only to help them end their European drought, but also to function as his successor.

The Argentine sent Neymar the following WhatsApp message after the Liverpool defeat: "Only together can we win the Champions League.

"I want you to come back. In two years, I'm leaving, and you'll be alone, you'll take my place."

Wow, wow and another wow.

It seems as though Messi has serious doubts about Barcelona winning the Champions League withour reuniting MSN and we can't ignore the claim that he's leaving in two years' time.

If the message is accurate, then Messi sees himself leaving before the 2022 World Cup and perhaps for a move back to Argentina based on some of his former comments.

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Is Neymar the heir to Messi's throne?

And that seems to be inspiring him even more to drag Neymar back to Camp Nou, showing that he cares strongly about Barcelona's direction once he hangs up his boots.

So, it must have come as a relief when Messi heard director of football Eric Abidal claiming that a return for the Brazilian could be on the cards.

"A top player, who has a Barça philosophy and who is performing at a high level, will always be an option," the former full-back remarked

"The future will say. If it continues at this level, because the season is very long, I will not say that it will be option No 1 but it can be a clear option."

International Champions Cup 2017 - Juventus v FC Barcelona

We're sure a few more messages from Messi will ease the negotiations...

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