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Xavi’s father on Neymar’s Barcelona return: “It stinks a bit”

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Xavi Hernandez’s father, Joaquim, thinks Neymar’s Barcelona return “stinks a bit” considering how he forced his way out of the club.

Neymar previously enjoyed a glorious four-year spell at Barcelona, where he helped the club win two La Liga titles and the Champions League on route to a total of eight trophies.

The Brazil international also struck the back of the net 105 times in just 186 games and chipped in 78 assists. Naturally, this led him to be ranked among the world’s best and saw his market value skyrocket.

To the shock of everybody, however, Barcelona announced in August 2017 that Neymar’s representatives had paid his world-record €222m release clause to force a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 27-year-old sealed his move to France later that month on a lucrative contract until June 2022. Although he insisted the decision to join PSG was down to a desire to make history in leading them to Champions League glory.

But It turns out Neymar was never happy in Paris and wants out this summer. Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner then confirmed on Thursday the forward’s desire for a Camp Nou return.

Despite the obvious dose of quality Neymar will bring to the Blaugrana, though, not everybody in Catalonia is happy about this new development.

“He’s a crack, a great player, but many people would not like him to be signed,” Joaquim told Cadena SER.

“His departure was traumatic and it was him who wanted to leave.

“I think that for the same thing, because he forced it, that now they to want to sign him back stinks a bit. But it’s up to the board and if they think his return could be positive then it’s welcome, that said there are many conditions.”

Meanwhile, Joaquim also spoke on the possibility of Neymar’s old Barcelona team-mate Xavi coaching the club in the future.

The 39-year-old announced his retirement from football in May after spending the last four years with Doha-based side Al Sadd.

“Barca is a great club, with many factors and you have to be prepared, for that reason he’s in Qatar for the next two to three years,” said Joaquim on his son.

“He should learn calmly, without pressure of any time, and come here mature as a coach and ready to train without pressure or obsession.”

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 06: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona celebrates with Ivan Rakitic (R) and the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)