The Brazil star, who completed a 57 million euro move to Barcelona from Santos in May, had a trial in the Spanish capital as a 14-year-old in 2006.
However, Carlos Martinez de Albornoz, the club’s general manager at the time, reportedly had reservations about paying the 60,000 euros requested by Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro to secure the services of the future star, which Giraldez labelled a “historic mistake”.
“Neymar was willing to stay at Real Madrid. We even registered him in the city,” he told Cadena Ser. “We saw that he was different. “It was a historic mistake by Real. He could have been our Messi.”
The 21-year-old netted his first competitive goal for the Blaugrana in the 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of the Spanish Super Cup a fortnight ago.