Why Neymar will not leave Barcelona to join Real Madrid

Of late, a lot has been spoken and written about Neymar in the light of his various transgressions regarding his finances, how he accrued them and how he renders them legal. Without going into much detail about things that have captured the attention of the wider media and audience alike, it can be said Barcelona’s Brazilian star has found himself on the wrong end of some unwanted attention.

Last week, Neymar had assets worth €42m frozen by the Sao Paolo federal court after he was alleged to have misled the taxmen in Brazil between 2011 and 2013. These recent events were the catalyst for his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, to launch a bizarre rant on Neymar’s father, Neymar Sr, who Ribeiro believes is the root of Neymar’s troubles, which have been coming ever since he moved to Barca.

In a post on social platform Instagram, Ribeiro offered words of advice to Neymar Sr, perhaps more a sarcastic swipe than genuine advice, and wrote: “Take your money, take it to tax havens, legally, of course. That way you will stop paying taxes in Brazil. Close your businesses, the Praia Grande institute and enjoy your life on the Mediterranean beaches. You and your family.”

His next lines are full of pointers to what Cules feel have been part of a conspiracy brewing in the greater pedestals of power in Spain, and subtly conforms to factors beyond the control of the player which have led to his current predicaments. Although Ribeiro heaps the blame squarely on Neymar Sr, there are reasons to believe from his words that his move to Barcelona had its own share of scrutinists and haters.

He added, directing at Neymar Sr: “But let Neymar play a few more years of football. Let him finish his career in Europe, preferably at Real Madrid. You never paid for your son to play and you decided to go back to Brazil instead of playing for Real Madrid when he was a teenager. And now he plays for a rival team!"

“In addition, [Neymar Sr.] didn’t want to take on two journalists who offered themselves as consultants in 2009. But Neymar Jr, a responsible, charismatic star started to become recognised and businesses in Brazil and beyond wanted his image, and that made you ‘rich’.”

Neymar, who moved to Barcelona in the summer of 2013, has frequently found himself on the end of courtroom battles, the first of which came up on the grounds of his transfer fee, while the events of last week have once again put him in the eye of the storm. Ribeiro, in his own right, vented out against Neymar’s father, but the greater picture here shows how the constant legal spotlight could sooner or later force the player out of the club.

Players crossing the El Clasico divide is nothing new, the names of Luis Figo, Bernd Schuster and Michael Laudrup immediately spring to mind, and Neymar could become the latest to join the small group. If, and it’s a big if, Ribeiro’s claims have any semblance of truth. In all probability, it looks more like an attempt to force Barca to offer the 23-year-old an even better deal than driving him away from the club.

As crazy as it might sound amid all the conspiracy theories flying around, Neymar’s future at Barcelona has been a subject of speculation following interest in the summer from Manchester United, but from the distance at least, it all adds up to the player obliquely hinting at his own demands. Having made history last season, there is little to no reason to believe Neymar will be gone from Barca any time soon, and even lesser reasons to believe he will end up at Real Madrid.

However, with football being unpredictable in every sense of the word, one can never count any possibility out. And even manager Luis Enrique, who himself crossed the divide, albeit in the opposite direction when he moved from Real Madrid to Barcelona in 1996, will testify to the fact.

But until the implausible happens, Neymar is well and truly one of Barca’s own. Despite what the apparently crazy people in his circles claim.

Now it's your turn: Do you see Neymar staying at the Camp Nou in the long term? Looking forward to your comments below!

By Abhijit Bharali, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter here