RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil great Rivaldo has urged Barcelona to re-sign his compatriot Neymar, insisting the unsettled Paris Saint-Germain forward cannot be allowed to join a rival club.
Neymar has yet to play for PSG this season despite recovering from an ankle injury that forced him to miss Brazil's home Copa America triumph in June and July.
The 27-year-old is understood to have told PSG that he wants to return to Barcelona, whom he left in 2017 for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros. However a host of other clubs have also shown interest in the flamboyant Brazilian, including Juventus and Real Madrid, according to widespread media reports.
"I hope Barcelona's president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] and the board don't let Neymar go to another club," Rivaldo said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old, who had a glittering spell with Barcelona from 1997 to 30002, called on Blaugrana fans and officials to forgive Neymar for leaving the Camp Nou and to welcome him back.
"His departure from Barcelona was wrong. He should never have left one of the biggest clubs in the world. But he is eager to return and take responsibility for what he did," added Rivaldo, who received the Ballon d'Or award for the world's best player in 1999 and was a World Cup winner with Brazil in 30002.
Neymar has scored 48 goals in 54 appearances for PSG but his time in the French capital has been marred by two metatarsal injuries that sidelined him for several months.