Sergio Ramos reveals chat with old Barcelona rival Neymar was key in persuading him to sign for PSG after leaving Real Madrid as he sets sights on delivering Paris club’s first Champions League title
- Sergio Ramos completed a free transfer to PSG this month after leaving Real
- 35-year-old defender attracted interest from several Premier League clubs
- But he decided to sign for PSG after a chat with their Brazilian star Neymar
- The two players were rivals on the field when Neymar played for Barcelona
- But Ramos said they have long enjoyed an ‘extraordinary friendship’ off the field
Neymar proved to be Paris Saint-Germain’s secret weapon in convincing his old rival Sergio Ramos to sign for the club.
The Brazilian forward and the Spanish defender were once rivals in clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
But Ramos, who ended his 16-year association with the Bernabeu club earlier in the summer, had any doubts about his move to Paris allayed by Neymar.
Sergio Ramos signed for Paris Saint-Germain this month after ending his long stay in Madrid
The Spanish defender, 35, played for Real Madrid for 16 years, winning every major honour
Ramos, 35, attracted the interest of Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, and was available on a free transfer.
But once PSG came forward, they pulled out all the stops to convince Ramos to sign for them.
President Nasser Al-Khelaifi, sporting director Leonardo and Neymar all spoke to Ramos and their charm offensive worked.
Ramos told L’Equipe, via Diario AS: ‘Neymar convinced me before signing for PSG.
‘Before signing for a new club, it is always helpful to talk with several players, or with Leonardo or Al-Khelaifi. They all convinced me in their own way.’
Ramos said his old Barcelona rival but close friend Neymar persuaded him to sign for PSG
Ramos added he has been on cordial terms with Neymar for some time despite their epic Clasico clashes when the Brazilian forward was at Barcelona between 2013 and 2017.
‘I have been talking to Neymar for six or seven years,’ he added. ‘Despite the fact he played for Barca and I played for Madrid, we have always had an extraordinary friendship.’
PSG have still to win the Champions League and the experience of Ramos, a player who lifted the famous trophy four times when at Real, will prove invaluable.
Ramos said he was given the necessary affection by PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino (left), club president Nasser Al Khelaifi (centre) and sporting director Leonardo (right)
Ramos won 22 trophies at Madrid but left the club for PSG after his deal was allowed to run down
He said: ‘To come to a club that is 51 years old and has not won the Champions League, it would be historic to do so. And from a personal point of view, having a fifth Champions League would be very important.’
Despite the striker being linked with a move to his old club, Ramos said he wanted to play alongside Kylian Mbappe for some time to come.
‘I advise him to stay at PSG,’ he said. ‘I am nobody to decide the future of Kylian but I want him to stay. You have to have the best players and Kylian is one of them, like Neymar. Three of us can do great things.’