Rivaldo Exclusive: Neymar should be Barcelona's top transfer target

Neymar celebrates scoring for PSG
Will Neymar leave PSG for Barca this summer?
View market

Betfair Ambassador Rivaldo urges Barcelona to re-sign Neymar this summer, discusses Jorge Jesus's work at Flamengo and remembers playing against England at the World Cup in 2002.

"Ronaldinho told me that he knew that Seaman had that tendency to take one or two steps forward at free kicks and so he tried to surprise him."

I've been saying for a while that I believe in Neymar. Perhaps leaving Barcelona was a mistake for the Brazilian but, if there's any chance of getting him back for less than the 222m euros Barca paid for him, the club should seize the opportunity.

At 28, he still has a lot of football to play. He would be a great signing for Barca as they would be getting someone who knows the club and who has the personality to make the difference in games. He wouldn't be daunted by sharing the pitch with Lionel Messi and the Argentinian would enjoy having him back on the team.

Martínez could be one for the future by Neymar is for now

Rumours say that Barcelona are considering trying to sign the young Argentinian attacker Lautaro Martínez from Inter, but I think that the 22-year-old needs to keep developing and gaining experience. He's already a valuable player for Inter, and could become a top player in the future, but he's not ready for Barca.

Barcelona should focus on bringing Neymar back, to reunite him with Messi and Luis Suarez (pictured below with Arturo Vidal) in the devastating attack they had in the past.

Vidal Messi Suarez 956.jpg

They should make every financial effort to get Neymar because it seems PSG are now more open to realistic offers. They should do everything necessary to sign a player who's already proved his value and wouldn't be a risky signing.

Neymar has already won Champions League with Barcelona, has shined in the Blaugrana shirt many times, and after apologizing to the fans for his unexpected exit to PSG, I think everything will be ok. He could conquer the Camp Nou fans with his brilliant game.

Ter Stegen deserves improved contract

Barcelona are negotiating a contract renewal with the goalkeeper Ter Stegen, and I agree that he deserves an improved salary for all he has been doing for the club in the last few years.

Of course, much will depend on the player's demands as I don't believe either that he should earn a similar salary to Suárez or Messi, but he should become one of the better paid members of the squad.

He transmits safety and a team is built from the back. He knows how to play with his feet, has already saved the team many times and he's clearly deserving of a better income.

Flamengo should try to keep Jorge Jesus

Rumours are circulating about a potential Jorge Jesus departure from Brazilian club Flamengo at the end of his contract. That's a concern for the club and fans, so the directors need to make a financial effort to keep their manager, as long as they can afford it.

Everyone at the club would love to keep Jesus for another year, after all he brought a brilliant style of football to the team and many important titles since his arrival. The team is settled and confident and changing their manager now could be a blow for them as it might compromise their good football and all their future achievements.

Renato Gaúcho could fulfil a dream at Flamengo

Vanderlei Luxemburgo has already had his chance of training Flamengo, and now he is doing a good job with the excellent Palmeiras squad, coaching a big club. So it doesn't seem to be the moment for a return to Flamengo if Jorge Jesus ends up leaving in a few months.

But for Renato Gaúcho managing Flamengo is a personal goal, so perhaps this could be a good moment for the Gremio boss to embrace a new challenge. He already declined Flamengo last season before the arrival of Jorge Jesus. I think he had conversations with Flamengo but didn't reach an agreement.

Jorge Jesus.jpg

It would be tough for him to decline the job twice in such a brief period, so if Jesus (pictured above) does leave Flamengo, I think Renato Gaúcho could be their best option.

Ex-Everton boss Marco Silva is also being touted as a possible replacement. I still think, though, that Flamengo will try hard to get Jesus to sign a new contract. The Portuguese manager is doing a sensational job at the club and they have no reasons to start thinking of replacing him before discussing a contract renewal.

Hoping the Ronaldinho situation could be over soon

I haven't communicated with Ronaldinho since his arrest in Paraguay but I've been watching and reading about it with some concern and sadness as this is not good for his reputation and is dark chapter in his beautiful story.

He is an excellent person, joyful and loving with everyone and it's tough to understand what exactly happened in this passport situation. From my side, I'm just cheering for him and hoping that all ends up fine, but I expect it's very annoying to spend your birthday detained in a foreign country.

I hope Ronaldinho can emerge stronger from all of this.

Ronaldinho did mean to score that goal against England

I remember well that match against England at World Cup 2002 in which we won 2-1. Ronaldinho gave a brilliant performance that day, setting up an excellent play and assisting me for our first goal. My goal was important for us, as we managed to equalise right before half-time.

Then at the second half, he scored that famous goal from way outside the box that surprised David Seaman and all the world, me included. I never thought he could try such strike, but it worked perfectly.

England v Brazil 2002.jpg

After the match, he told me that he knew that Seaman had that tendency to take one or two steps forward at free kicks and so he tried to surprise him.

That match was particularly remarkable because Ronaldinho was sent off with half an hour to play and we had to fight hard to contain English pressure until the end.

To score a goal from such a tough position, and with your right foot, is amazing because it would be more plausible for a lefty to do it. For Ronaldinho, though, there were no impossible tasks and it was a joy to watch him play and to share the pitch with him many times.

Rivaldo,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles