But Zahavi also called his new client Robert Lewandowski the “best forward in the world,” following a report last month that claimed he had reached an agreement in principle for the Bayern Munich striker to move to the Bernabeu this summer.
Zahavi, who helped broker the sale of Chelsea to Roman Abramovich and Rio Ferdinand’s then-record transfer to Manchester United, acted as intermediary in Neymar’s blockbuster move from Barcelona to PSG last summer.
According to UOL Esporte, the Israeli agent accompanied a PSG delegation to Brazil last month to check on Neymar’s foot injury and determine his value in another transfer this summer, after reports said Neymar is unhappy in Paris.
But Zahavi told Przeglad Sportowy that Neymar had to leave Barcelona to get out of Lionel Messi’s shadow, and that having more than one of the world’s top three players on a club would be unsustainable.
“Neymar did what he had to,” Zahavi said. “There are only three football superstars — Messi, Cristiano and Neymar. They can’t play in one club.
“At Barca, Ney always was the No. 2. He was the second to shoot from free kicks, second to the penalties, second to everything.
“He came to Spain as a young boy. He grew up. Now he’s 26 and has eight or nine years at the top level. He needs independence.”