‘Neymar is a big loss but big clubs survive’ – Luis Figo

Luis Figo never expected Barcelona to struggle after the sale of Neymar, saying the top teams would find it ‘impossible’ to ‘depend on one player’.

Barca offloaded the Brazilian superstar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record £198million fee in the summer and some commentators felt the Catalans would take time to find their feet following his departure.

However, they have shown no ill-effects, romping to the top of La Liga with seven wins from seven matches. 

Barcelona will cope after Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Luis Figo

Barcelona will cope after Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Luis Figo

Barcelona will cope after Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Luis Figo

Figo is pictured during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am in Scotland

Figo is pictured during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am in Scotland

Figo is pictured during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship pro-am in Scotland

‘Big clubs always survive that kind of situation,’ Figo told Omnisport, reflecting on his old side’s start to the season.

‘It’s impossible that clubs like Barcelona or Madrid only depend on one player.

‘But, of course, he’s a big loss, because he’s one of the best football players in the world.

‘Let’s see how they deal with that during the season.’ 

Neymar moved to PSG for a world-record fee this summer but Barca have not suffered

Neymar moved to PSG for a world-record fee this summer but Barca have not suffered

Neymar moved to PSG for a world-record fee this summer but Barca have not suffered

After the international break, Barca return to action with a daunting trip to Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

It will be the first time the Blaugrana have visited Atletico’s new home – the Wanda Metropolitano – since Diego Simeone’s side moved in earlier this year.

Atleti currently sit fourth in the league standings, six points behind Barcelona on 15.

Simeone’s side are still unbeaten this term, however, having collected four wins and three draws from their games to date.

They have conceded just four goals in that time. 

The state of play at the top of La Liga ahead of Barcelona's clash with Atletico Madrid

The state of play at the top of La Liga ahead of Barcelona's clash with Atletico Madrid

The state of play at the top of La Liga ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Atletico Madrid

Meanwhile, Figo believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s return from a five-match ban can help kick-start Real Madrid’s season.

After seven games, the defending champions are fifth in La Liga, seven points behind their rivals Barcelona.

Ronaldo has served his five-match suspension after pushing the referee in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August and Figo feels his return can get Madrid’s season back on track.

‘Of course, he’s a very important player for the team,’ Figo said.

‘He was out five games and the team missed his goals and his contribution.

Figo also says Cristiano Ronaldo's return from a five-match ban will spark Real Madrid into life

Figo also says Cristiano Ronaldo's return from a five-match ban will spark Real Madrid into life

Figo also says Cristiano Ronaldo’s return from a five-match ban will spark Real Madrid into life

‘Now everything is settled and I think the team is going for the goals they had in the beginning of the season.

‘They started well, they won two competitions (the Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup) and now in the league they’re trying to come back from some draws and (recover) some points to Barcelona.

‘The season is long, to win the league you have to be really consistent.

‘Of course, all the teams have their ups and downs and I’m looking forward to seeing Madrid in the top (places).’  

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