Before Neymar moved over to Barcelona in a megabucks move, Chelsea “made an offer” for the Brazilian. What would have been if the transfer happened?
The Evening Standard reports Chelsea could have held a potential Ballon d’Or footballer as far back as 2010. Neymar, at the time, was the talk of the town and was constantly mooted for a big-money move to Europe.
Not that much has changed with him still holding the record for being named the most expensive transfer in the history of football. A £194 million (€222m) transfer saw the forward make the swap from Barca to PSG.
Since then, he remains the speculation of a transfer back to Spain, as he hunts down that elusive Ballon d’Or he’s been after for so long.
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"There were many calls for him. I received an official offer from Chelsea the day Neymar debuted with the Brazilian team in 2010.They made an offer, we studied it, but in the end we didn’t decide anything. On that occasion, we transferred it to Neymar’s father and the player himself. Then came other offers from Bayern Munich and Juventus, with whom I had a meeting in Turin. (Via: Evening Standard)"
Like every other Brazilian, Spain was the calling. Barcelona was always the favourites to get his signature. That and the fact they are always in the light for shady business, stopping at nothing to get whoever they set their sights on.
He would follow in the footsteps of the legend, Ronaldinho, to play alongside Messi, who was predicted to hand the batten over to him. And just like that, 1, 2, 3… Barcelona signed the Santos player in 2013 for an “apparent” fee of £48.6m (€57m).
If Chelsea made the Neymar breakthrough
Neymar brought instant success to the Camp Nou after he joined in 2013. The player managed to collect seven major trophies, forming one part of one of the deadliest front three the game has ever seen.
That’s until Europe met Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah. By the time the trio had their second anniversary, the three were directly involved in 264 goals for their club. There was no denying their superiority.
Neymar’s honours at Barcelona
- Spanish La Liga x2
- Champions League x1
- Copa del Rey x3 (Back-to-back titles)
- Supercopa de España x1
Funny enough, during his time at Barcelona, Chelsea only won three titles as a club. Two times Premier League winners (2014/15 and 2016/17) and one time winners of the Carabao Cup (2014/15). Clearly, Neymar would have brought more silverware and constant success to a team that had turbulent times.
In 186 appearances, he scored a total of 105 goals. There were two seasons Chelsea struggled to make the top four in the Premier League, ending once in 10th and once in fifth place. Any of his 105 goals would have kept them in the running for Champions League football and would have undoubtedly made them one of the most intimidating teams in the competition.