Barcelona great Rivaldo was surprised Manchester City did not make a move for Lionel Messi, who is due to make his Paris St Germain debut this weekend.
The 34-year-old came through the La Masia academy and established himself as the greatest ever player to grace the Nou Camp – and perhaps any pitch – during an incredible medal-laden period.
Messi will forever be synonymous with Barcelona but the club’s shocking financial situation led to the bombshell confirmation of his departure in early August.
The Argentina captain swiftly signed a two-year deal with the option of a further season at PSG, who he is expected to make his debut for in Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash at Reims.
Asked if he thought PSG was the right move for Messi, former Brazil international Rivaldo said: “Yes it is, especially in this moment of PSG.
“Great players and the enormous challenge of a Champions League for a club that has never conquered it, although I also think that a great club in England could have been an excellent decision too because of the challenge that the Premier League represents.”
Reigning Premier League champions City looked an obvious destination given their deep pockets, long-term admiration of the player and Messi’s previous relationship with Pep Guardiola.
“Yes, it is a surprise (they did not try to sign him) because of the potential that the club has, which, like PSG, brings together great stars and lives a great moment,” Rivaldo told the PA news agency.
“But I do not know the main reasons for this decision, although I know that having hired a great player like (Jack) Grealish moments before could have been equally decisive.”
Grealish completed his eye-watering £100million move from Aston Villa, just hours after Barcelona announced Messi would not be staying at the club.