Updated 02:26 PM EST, Tue, Jan 25, 2022

Hristo Stoichkov Believes Neymar Won’t Leave Barca for Real Madrid

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Bulgarian football legend and former FC Barcelona striker Hristo Stoichkov is confident Neymar won't swap his blue, red and maroon jersey for an immaculate white one.

Stoichkov, who won the World Player of the Year award in 1992 and 1994, believes the Brazilian superstar will follow in his footsteps while playing for the Camp Nou team. He also shared to Four Four Two that he doesn't expect Neymar to sign with Barca's El Clasico rivals.

"I think Neymar will win a Ballon d'Or with the Barca shirt, he will not be another Judas," Stoichkov said as a clear reference to Luis Figo's notorious switch in July 2000. "He's a smart guy, knows this is his team."

Daily Mail noted that Neymar has been his usual stellar self this season. Last year's FIFA Ballon d'Or third runner-up has found the back of the net 21 times in 31 appearances for the Catalan side.

There have been unwavering rumors suggesting Neymar is looking to switch sides or play for the English Premiere League. Back in September, Neymar even confirmed that Barca was negotiating with Manchester United for his transfer, per Sky Sports.  

Meanwhile, Sport reported that Real Madrid would have to move Cristiano Ronaldo in order to afford Neymar's services. Soccer reporter Lluis Mascaro said Los Blancos boss Florentino Perez is willing to pay the Brazilian €35 million per year at the start of next season.

However, it's tough for Barca fans, as well as the rest of the soccer world, to comprehend why Neymar would want to leave such an epic squad.

Apart from leading the La Liga standings by a comfortable margin, Barca made soccer history on Wednesday by becoming the first La Liga team to go unbeaten in 29 matches. The Camp Nou side hasn't lost since October 2015 and can extend their streak to 30 by winning or posting a draw against Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Stoichkov had high praises for his former club and said the Catalan team is in terrific shape. The 50-year old Bulgarian added that Barca is nearing another league title, per AS.

"They're doing a great job, both the team and the coaches. Four points ahead [of Real Madrid] and three clear of [Atletico Madrid], with a game in hand," said Stoichkov. "It's a significant lead and they're closing in."

Stoichkov also had kind words to his former teammate and ex-Barca manager Pep Guardiola. The latter will be manning the helm for Manchester City at the start of next season. The Bulgarian legend said, "It's an important step for Guardiola, a chance for him to enjoy the experience of another league and see how it turns out."

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