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Neymar opens up on hellish PSG experience he & Messi endured

Neymar Jr at PSG
© Ace Football

The former FC Barcelona duo left the Parisian club in the summer.

Lionel Messi and Neymar had a rough time during their stints at Paris Saint-Germain, with the latter saying that they both “lived through hell.”

In the summer, the two players ended their respective spells at PSG. Messi signed for MLS team Inter Miami on a free transfer, while Neymar joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a reported €90 million fee.

Their departures ended some rather underwhelming stints in Paris. Messi, for one, struggled to adapt. The forward helped the club win back-to-back Ligue 1 titles, but his relationship with the fans deteriorated. By the end of his two-year stay, a section of supporters turned on him, especially after PSG’s Champions League last-16 exit in March.

Neymar, who joined PSG for a world-record €222 million fee from Barcelona in 2017, suffered the same treatment.

“We get upset because we’re not there for nothing, we’re there to do our best, [to] be champions, try to make history,” Neymar said in an interview with Globo Esporte in June that only aired last Sunday.

“That’s why we started playing together again, we came together there so we could make history. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it.”

‘Messi lived hell, we lived through hell, both he and I’

Neymar and Messi, who won the Champions League together at Barcelona in 2015, reunited in the summer of 2021 when the latter signed for PSG.

They couldn’t reach the same heights in their two seasons in Paris though, with the club suffering back-to-back exits in the last-16.

But while things didn’t go to plan in France, it wasn’t all lost for Messi. The 36-year-old won the only trophy that had eluded him: the World Cup. He put in a sterling display in Qatar to lead Argentina to a first world title since 1986.

“I was very happy for the year he had, but at the same time very sad, because he lived both sides of the coin,” Neymar said.

“He went to heaven with the Argentina team, won everything in recent years, and with Paris he lived hell, we lived through hell, both he and I.”