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By Martin Graham | 22nd Apr 2023
Brazilian star Neymar has stated his desire to return to his hometown club Santos FC.
He made this known after a Copa Sudamericana match against Chilean side Audax Italiano on Thursday. The game ended 0 – 0 but the Brazilian club’s fans found solace in Neymar’s visit to the stadium to watch the game.
The Paris Saint-Germain attacker is currently recovering from a surgery performed on his ankle which effectively ruled him out of the season. He is spending that time in Brazil among family and friends and took some time to go watch his boyhood club play.
He was recognised by the club and was greeted by the fans after the game. Memories of the 225 games he played for them before moving to Barcelona came rushing back and the 31-year-old admitted that he dreams of a return to the Estádio Urbano Caldeira at some point in his career.
“One day, I will come back. I will come back” he told Brazilian football media outlet Globoesporte. “It’s great to come back to my house. I feel at home here, I’m so happy to come back after ten years. Unfortunately, it’s a draw, I wanted them to win.
“I came here to support Santos and receive the affection of the supporters. It was the club that gave me everything, that opened the doors, to me and my family, that revealed me to the world. I am very happy and happy to be here. If I dream of it, imagine (how fans feel).”
This comes on the back of PSG’s wish to reduce their wage bill, starting with him. Manchester United and Chelsea have declared an interest in him according to reports. But it is unknown what their real intentions are about the transfer, as they are also prioritising a few other positions within their squads.
Neymar is football’s most expensive signing. He joined PSG from Barcelona for £200 million, who acquired him from Santos in 2013. He was signed to aid their trophy haul and despite winning a horde of domestic titles – including four Ligue 1 titles in five seasons – he has failed to deliver the UEFA Champions League.
That remains their most coveted title. The club have reportedly given up on using Neymar for those goals and will listen to offers for him.
Santos fans will be dreaming of a return for their hometown hero but it is unknown if the club will sanction a move for the 31-year-old in the summer.
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer
Source : MyFootballFacts