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Neymar happy at Paris Saint-Germain despite trying to force summer exit

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Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar has insisted he is happy with the French champions and in France despite trying to force a Barcelona return this summer.

The Brazil international's hopes of a Camp Nou comeback two years after leaving for Parc des Princes in a world-record €222 million deal failed to materialise last summer in the window's longest running transfer saga.

With that and a string of early season injuries now behind him, Neymar has told France Football he is focused on PSG for the foreseeable future and asked, "why would I want to leave" when pressed on the matter.

"I hope PSG understood me," said the 27-year-old of his former desire to return to Spain. "Why would I want to leave here? I still have two years of contract left and the team keeps getting better.

"Everyone knows what happened last summer. Everyone knew what I wanted and what the club wanted -- what everybody wanted.

"Last year, I talked a lot. Now, I am a PSG player and I give 100 percent for the club -- I will give my life on the pitch for PSG to succeed."

Neymar explained he never intended to hurt anybody through his desire to leave PSG after a miserable injury-hit spell before adding that playing regularly again is making him happier and happier.

"I never wanted to hurt anybody," the South American said. "I have always known in my head, though, that you should leave if you are not happy somewhere. You always need to find somewhere you will feel better.

"Now, I am happy in Paris. When I play football, I am always happy anyway. Football is always on my mind at every moment of my life. It brings me happiness. I never play to be No. 1. The injuries kill me.

"This season, the objective is the Champions League. My priority is PSG with maximum commitment each week. The aim is always to win the next game. Each match, we must push for PSG."

After a difficult start to this season with PSG's ultras, Neymar feels France "more or less" understands him and his separate styles of playing and living as he is always professional in his approach.

The Brazilian, who ranked eighth in the forwards section of ESPN FC's 100 list this year, also praised PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe and the pair's friendship on and off the pitch.

"Kylian and I are great friends," he said. "We help each other to keep winning and scoring goals on the pitch.

"There is something very special about this boy. There is no competition between us -- our relationship is based upon friendship and camaraderie."

Neymar, who was credited with PSG's opening goal in last Sunday's 4-0 Ligue 1 win away at Saint-Etienne on top of two assists and a missed penalty, also rates Barcelona's Lionel Messi as "the best I have ever played with."

The Santos youth academy graduate, who missed out on France Football's Ballon d'Or shortlist altogether, has seven goals and three assists from nine league appearances this season and has added one goal and two assists from his two Champions League outings.

PSG will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16 when play resumes in February.

ESPN FC's Julien Laurens contributed towards this report.