Neymar's departure is a massive blow to Barcelona's future

On June 3rd, 2013, Barcelona unveiled rising sensation Neymar as their newest signing from Santos. Only 21 years of age at the time of the transfer, the footballing world's eyes were fixed on how the winger would adapt to not just European football, but playing alongside Lionel Messi.

Where did it all go wrong?

In the four years since signing for the Spanish giants, Neymar has gone from Brazilian sensation to global superstar, helping Barcelona to numerous trophies along the way.

In 2015, Neymar seemed to be nearing the two undisputed best players in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Brazilian scored ten goals in the Champions League, finishing level with his two counterparts, as well as winning the competition. Later that year, Neymar found himself on the shortlist for the 2015 Ballon D'or, finishing third behind the two usual suspects.

Despite his astronomical rise to stardom, it seemed as though it was near impossible for Neymar to make this Barcelona team his own, especially with Messi leading the way.

The 25-year old's incredible performance to help Barcelona to an improbable comeback over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League shocked the world, but somewhere along the way, something went wrong.

Over the course of this summer, rumours swirled of Neymar possibly leaving the Camp Nou to join PSG and as the days went by, those rumours strengthened until the move became imminent.

The transfer leaves Barcelona as recipients of the biggest transfer fee in football history, but they are left without one of football's biggest talents in years. 

Neymar poses alongside NBA star Draymond Green during the 2016 NBA Finals. (Source:
Neymar poses alongside NBA star Draymond Green during the 2016 NBA Finals. (Source: David Dow/Getty Images)

Catalan giants losing out on their future poster boy

Neymar's footballing ability not only makes him one of the best players in the world, but his marketing power is something to behold. The Brazilian is one of the most popular players in the world and he has captured the media's attention everywhere he goes.

As one of the most recognisable faces in football, Neymar was being lined up as the man to lead Barcelona forward whenever Messi decides to retire, but his decision to leave throws the club's future in disarray.

After Lionel Messi's recent 30th birthday, Barcelona should have been looking to secure Neymar's future to make him the face of the club after Messi's retirement, but they failed to do so, and now their young superstar is on his way out.

As both Messi and Luis Suarez enter their 30s, Barcelona must now look to the transfer market to find the next face of their club, but replacing Neymar is an extremely difficult task.

At 25 years old, Neymar is set to become the most expensive player of all time by quite a distance. The type of impact he has had on Barcelona at such a young age is staggering and after already becoming a Ballon d'Or finalist, there doesn't not seem to be a limit for the Brazilian's potential. 

His departure from Barcelona provides plenty of questions but the biggest of all may be, how did Barcelona let this happen?