Former Barcelona defender Miguel Angel Nadal says that Neymar is unlucky to have been caught up in the recent troubles at the Catalan club and believes that the Brazilian needs to be left in peace.
The investigation into the forward’s summer move from Santos led to the resignation of former Barca president Sandro Rosell in January and new chief Josep Maria Bartomeu began his tenure by revealing the figures behind the transfer.
Those showed that Barca had in fact spent a total of €86.2 million (£71.6m) on the total operation, although the Blaugrana still claim that the transfer fee itself was €57.1m (£46.4m).
Also revealed was that Barca paid out €40m (£33.2m) of the fee to the player’s parents and Bartomeu could now face court cases in both Spain and Brazil as third party investors DIS also claim that they will file lawsuits against the Catalan club in the two countries.
“Neymar is very young and naturally, he has nothing to do with this issue,” Nadal told Goal. “Different stories emerge and they are things that don’t usually come out. He is [only] involved because the story is there.”
The Brazilian, who turned 22 on Wednesday, is currently recovering from an ankle injury and Nadal feels that he should isolate himself from the negative press surrounding his move.
“The player should be left alone in all this,” he remarked. “The only thing he did was come to Barcelona because they proposed it to him.”
Nadal, uncle of tennis star Rafa and a centre-back in Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team, warns that the case could ultimately affect Barca’s performances on the pitch.
He opined: “The more calm there is at a club, the better. That way, attention is focused solely on the objectives outlined at the beginning of the season.
“When that is lost, it can have an effect. In these last few months of the season, Barcelona have to find ambition and security as a team – and also correct a few errors.”
Some of those errors have come in defence, particularly at set-pieces, and Nadal is sure that the key to winning titles lies in Barca tightening up their back line.
“The defence is an important point because if gives you security and that, in turn, gives you consistency,” he explained.
“So you have to find that balance and solve a few of the problems, especially at set-pieces, because that gives you [extra] security at the back.
“That will make a big difference becuase it’s very rare that Barcelona fail to score.”