Barcelona star Luis Suarez has lifted the lid on how he and Lionel Messi reacted when Neymar revealed his intentions to swap Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
25-year-old Neymar was a member of one of Europe's fiercest front three combinations, but his £200m world record move to PSG ensured the lethal trio were disbanded - much to Barcelona's dismay - however, Suarez has insisted that he and his teammates have been nothing but supportive.
Although Suarez admitted to wanting Neymar to stay with the La Liga outfit, the Uruguayan international told Sport that the Brazilian star had his full backing in any decision he made.
He said: “He asked for more than advice, [Messi and I] tried to do what would benefit the team.
“But we never said ‘Don’t go because you won’t be happy.’ We said we didn’t want him to go, but that he was free to do what he wanted, because of the friendship we have. It was painful that he left."
PSG is a temporary stop off in Neymar’s circuitous route to Real Madrid. Chalk it down.
However, despite having been at Parc des Princes for only three months there are lingering reports which suggest Neymar is unhappy in France as he feels that only the Champions League is worth his effort as the Ligue 1 is not up to his standards.
Suarez added on the matter: "It's come out that he regrets leaving. Not at all. Ney is mature enough to know if he regrets leaving and he would say it himself, it doesn't need to be said by other people.
“We miss Ney a lot on the pitch, but more off it, because he was special. He’s said it.
“We had a lot of fun. He transmits happiness and joy all of the time. He was important for us.
“He’s playing for another team now but I don’t hold it against him, the opposite. I tried to convince him to stay because I think here’s the best place for him, but it’s a decision he had to take,” he added.
Neymar has made 12 appearances for PSG this season, notching 11 goals and providing seven assists, where the French side currently sit atop of both the league and Champions League group table.