The chances of Neymar making a return to Barcelona could be close to being impossible now that he is tied with sportswear giant PUMA.
The Paris Saint-Germain ace forward has just recently inked a blockbuster deal with the German brand, ending a 15-year partnership with Nike – a move that is being speculated to be the last telling hint that the 28-year-old won’t be making a trip back to Camp Nou.
“The likes of Joan Laporta and Victor Font have already set sights on the Brazilian if they are elected as president. However, despite the ambitions, it may now seem unlikely that he returns to Barcelona,” an Everything Barca report stated.
“Neymar recently signed a sponsorship deal with PUMA, thereby breaking a 15-year long association with Nike. The American sporting brand was itself keen on helping the cause of transferring Neymar to Barca, due to their appeal to the general public over PSG.”
Neymar had been pursued by PUMA for several months while the company kept the signing “a big secret” inside with only four executives aware of the business move, an ESPN report said.
The fresh brand partnership was officially announced by Neymar on his Twitter page as he raved about PUMA’s rich history with soccer.
“I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pelé, Cruyff, Matthäus, Eusébio, and Maradona,” he said. “These were the KINGs of the pitch, the KINGs of my sport. I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch.
“They each played in PUMA, and each of them created their magic in The KING. Every time I lace my boots, my KING boots, I will do anything to achieve all of my dreams to honor my name and that of all those great ones who wore the KING before me. This will be my PUMA history. The KING is back!”
PUMA CEO Bjørn Gulden made the confirmation in a separate statement, which wrote:
“Neymar Jr joining our PUMA Family is fantastic. He is one of the best players in the world and extremely influential for the global football and youth culture. We are very excited and look forward to working with him both on and off the pitch.”
Neymar continues to have his hands full on PSG and his status with the French side is likely to remain unchanged with Kylian Mbappe rumored to leave the club in 2021.
With Mbappe out, the task to lead PSG would be left under Neymar’s own steam, leaving a smaller window for the Blaugrana to pull off a comeback bid.