Rivaldo Exclusive: Messi and Neymar will spur each other to glory

  • Rivaldo
  • 5:00 min read
Lionel Messi and Neymar in training at PSG
Messi and Neymar should be a lethal combination

In his latest exclusive Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo backs Lionel Messi to end PSG's wait for a Champions League title and inspire his friend Neymar to even greater heights...

There are fierce rivalries on the pitch but when we meet in other circumstances the mutual respect is huge. Messi and Ramos will become friends and laugh about their fights of the past.

There were two main reasons why Lionel Messi chose to join Paris Saint-Germain. One, they are a strong team with some of his best friends playing for them and he could win another Champions League title there. Two, PSG have the huge financial resources needed to pay him a generous salary.

PSG can win the Champions League this season

I've said for a couple of seasons that PSG were a Champions League contenders. They weren't far in the last two years and now they're favourites to claim the title this season with Messi in the squad.

Messi is joining a team that know each other very well after playing together for a few seasons. His magic will be the cherry on the top of the cake and I believe PSG can win the Champions League this season.

Every club will want to beat PSG

Of course, Messi isn't the only player to join PSG this summer. After signing players such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum, PSG have strengthed a squad that was already strong with Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Everywhere they go this season PSG will be the team to beat, so it won't be easy for them.

Ramos and Messi can turn rivalry into friendship

Football is full of surprises and great stories and I'm sure that Ramos and Messi weren't expecting to team up at PSG after so many tough battles in 'El Clasico' that were occasionally a bit violent.

The same thing happened to me because I always had tough clashes against Fernando Redondo when he was at Real Madrid and I was at Barcelona. Later we played together at AC Milan and had a great relationship as team-mates.

sergio-ramos-ucl-1280.jpg

When we play for big clubs, there are fierce rivalries on the pitch but when we meet in other circumstances the mutual respect is huge and that's beautiful. I believe Messi and Ramos will become friends and even laugh about their fights of the past.

Premier League would have been tougher for Messi

Some fans might have felt a bit disappointed that Messi didn't sign for a Premier League club. But Messi would have much more difficulty playing there than in Ligue 1, with all the respect to French football.

He will find it easier to score goals and get assists in France than he would have in England. He will be better place to manage his fitness throughout the season.

MNM can be new MSN

He will form a great partnership with Neymar and Mbappe and they will provide great attacking entertainment, a bit like the Messi-Suarez-Neymar trident at Barcelona.

I hope that Messi can help Neymar become a Ballon D'Or winner. I hope Messi will help his friend become the best player in the world in the next few seasons.

Messi is favourite to won his seventh Ballon D'Or in 2021, so it would be a great gesture from the Argentinian to support the Brazilian by letting him take penalties and free-kicks.

They are big friends and, knowing Messi's humility, I don't think that's so unlikely to happen in the near future as many might think.

Time for others to step up at Barcelona

Other players will have the opportunity to take responsibility and leading Barcelona. The squad will come together and give a great response this season - fighting for La Liga and the Champions League titles.

There are some rumours about Sergio Aguero's discontent at seeing his friend Messi leaving, but a player should never sign hoping to team up with someone in particular, because you never know what will happen in football.

Aguero is a good professional and, along with others like Memphis Depay and Antoine Griezmann, I'm confident that he will help Barcelona will produce a good campaign this season.

The squad's great mission will be trying to make fans forget Messi's absence. There's no better way to do that than by fighting for titles and playing good football.

Gabriel Jesus needs be starting games

If Manchester City sign Harry Kane things will get tougher for Gabriel Jesus at Manchester City.

Last season, Pep Guardiola played many times without a number nine in attack and that showed he didn't feel confidence in the Brazilian. Jesus need to think about what he wants for the new season.

Is he comfortable playing few minutes but representing a big club that will probably claim more titles this season, or is he prepared to join another club where he can prove he's one of the best strikers in European football?

This could be an important season for Jesus since there will be a World Cup next year. He needs to play more and prove his value or he could end up missing Qatar 2022.

Guardiola is a reasonable man and I'm sure there will be no problem if they sit down and decide what's the best option for Jesus, even if that means goin out on loan to another club.

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