Neymar refused to join Real Madrid, says ex-Santos president

According to Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro, the Brazil international had his heart set on a transfer to Camp Nou in 2013 despite the Blancos’ superior deal

Real Madrid made a better offer than Barcelona last year but Neymar was insistent upon joining the latter, according to former Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro.

The forward made an €86.2 million move to Camp Nou last summer, ending a transfer saga which had lasted a few years and climaxed with Barca and their Clasico rivals vying for Neymar’s signature.

But the former chief of the Brazilian side says Madrid’s offer was irrelevant as the forward was always going to move to Camp Nou.

“I was receiving medical treatment and the vice-president who later assumed the presidency, Odilio Rodrigues, was maintaining contact with Barca and Real Madrid,” Ribeiro told Cope.

“He told me that the offer from Real Madrid was superior, but that the decision of the player was the opposite.

“His destiny was decided: he wanted to go to Barcelona – end of.”

Ribeiro also stressed that his comments earlier in 2014 about wanting to run over Neymar’s dad were “a joke” and that “I don’t have a single traffic violation and haven’t killed a mosquito”.

The bad blood between Santos and Neymar’s father is because the latter received €40 million from Barca for the 21-year-old, compared to the €17m the Brazilian club were given.

Neymar has started 2014-15 extremely brightly, scoring nine goals in as many matches for Luis Enrique’s men.

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