Neymar reveals why he rejected Real Madrid move

February 22nd, 2022 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Neymar has revealed he turned down a move to Real Madrid when he was 12 because he was “too homesick”.

The Brazil international joined Barcelona for €86.2m in 2013 at the age of 21 from Santos, before leaving to join PSG for a world-record €222m in 2017, but previously had the opportunity to join Real Madrid.

“When I was 10 Real Madrid invited me for a try-out,” Neymar said in an interview with former Brazil great Ronaldo Nazario in a podcast on Twitch. “I was thrilled, I was so happy, I watched their practice. It was during the Galacticos era. I watched their game.

“I watched a game and I think all the goals were scored by Brazilians. I think two by Ronaldo, one by Robinho and a free-kick from Julio Baptista and another by Roberto Carlos.

“After the game I got a picture with all of them. I was over the moon. I stayed there for a week, for the try-out. It lasted for four of five days.

“On the fifth day they wanted to take me to a championship being held in Barcelona MIC Cup but I quit. I got really homesick and I wanted to go back home. It was pretty much all set up for me to play at Real Madrid but then I got back. It’s funny because I met Pablo Sarabia playing at PSG and he was there too at Real Madrid back then. He remembers everything, that I was there for a few days and then I left.”

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