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Santos president: “I hope Neymar goes to Real Madrid”

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President Jose Carlos Peres has told his old Santos star Neymar that he was “totally wrong to leave Barcelona” and should return to Spain at Real Madrid.

Neymar first rose to prominence at Santos from an early age like his fellow Brazilian stars Pele, Robinho and Alex.

After making his professional debut at 17, Neymar scored 70 goals and provided 35 assists in 134 appearances. He won six trophies at Santos, with three league titles and the Copa Libertadores being among them.

Barcelona then signed Neymar for €86.2m in 2013, where he went on to enjoy a goal and trophy-laden four years at Camp Nou.

The 27-year-old also formed part of a deadly attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that helped Barcelona win a treble in the 2015/16 campaign.

Despite managing 105 goals and 76 assists in just 186 games, however, Neymar was unsatisfied being in Messi’s shadow.

Therefore, the Brazil captain completed a shock world record €222m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017.

Pretty much since the very first moment he first set foot in France, though, Neymar has been persistently linked with a return to Spain at either Barcelona or Real.

And now Peres has called out his old star man by claiming he’s made a terrible mistake.

“I hope Neymar goes to Real Madrid, it would be the best place for him,” Peres told Marca.

“He was totally wrong to leave Barcelona, he was still growing as a player. He hasn’t done well since he left.

“I’m a follower of Real Madrid and it’s a club that does things in a perfect way. If Neymar gets the chance to wear the Real Madrid shirt, then he shouldn’t think twice.”

Rodrygo will be a star for Real Madrid

Meanwhile, Peres is set to lose another one of his promising young Santos stars to Real Madrid in Rodrygo this summer. The 18-year-old forward will arrive in Spain in July after a reported deal of €45m.

Great things are expected from Rodrygo, who finished fourth behind winner Kylian Mbappe for the inaugural Kopa Trophy in 2018.

“Rodrygo is going to be a great player, I was very happy when he signed for Madrid,” Peres said.

“He’s not a star, he is always willing to learn.

“He loves football, and that is very important.”

Santos v Real Garcilaso PER - Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018
SANTOS, BRAZIL – MAY 24: Rodrygo #9 of Santos on the ball during the match between Santos and Real Garcilaso (PER) as a part of Copa Libertadores 2018 at Vila Belmiro Stadium on May 24, 2018 in Santos, Brazil. (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Getty Images)