Neymar Says He Sealed $261M Barcelona Deal with Heart Not Money

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Brazilian forward, Neymar who played for Barcelona, became the world’s most-expensive player after Neymar joined French club Paris Saint-Germain for $261M with contract that will run until 2022.

He was offered the number 10 jersey by Javier Pastore as a “welcome gift”

Merci Muchas gracias Thanks Obrigado @flacojp27 🤙🏽✌🏽

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He told reporters at his unveiling on Friday, “My heart told me that it was time to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.”

The 25-year-old has  52 goals in 77 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18.  Neymar is the fourth-highest goalscorer for his national team. He was a key player in Brazil’s victories at the 2011 South American Youth Championship, which he finished as the leading goalscorer, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. His participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 Copa América was cut short by injury and a suspension respectively, but the next year he captained Brazil to their first Olympic gold medal in men’s football at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“I am very, very happy,” he said. “I cannot describe what I am feeling in my heart right now. I am here to help the team to win as many titles as possible. I have come to take on a new challenge and to win titles.

“I have friends in Barcelona; it was not easy to leave. However, football can be like that. It was the most difficult decision of my life to leave Barcelona, but I felt like it was the right moment to leave.

“I have friends here in Paris, and I already feel at home here. I was very happy during four years in Barcelona. I am not sad; I won lots of titles.”

Told that some people think he moved just for the money, Neymar said:

“Well, what I can say to these people is that they don’t know anything about my personal life. I was never motivated by money. It was never my first motivation.

“What I think about is my happiness, together with my family. I want us to be happy. I must follow my heart, not considering the money. If I was following the money, I would be somewhere else with different teams in different countries.

“I am really sad to think people think that way. I would like to thank PSG, as they believe in my potential and I want to pay them back.”

Lionel Messi had posted a heartfelt farewell message to Neymar this week,

Neymar rejected the suggestions he wanted to leave to step out of Messi’s shadow saying,

“No, quite on the contrary,” he said. “One of my motivations to play for Barcelona was to play alongside Lionel Messi — he was my role model.

“There was no pressure at all. Only during the first week [in] Barcelona I was worried about training with my role models at the time. That was a lot of pressure, but after that first week I felt relaxed and in my own environment.

“To play with the best is very easy, actually, because all the players, all the players in the world, want to play with the best players to win titles together. I would like to thank Lionel Messi because he welcomed me so well. I learned so much from him in four years together.”

Neymar has built up his fitness during Barcelona’s preseason and said he was ready to make his PSG debut in the Ligue 1 clash with Amiens on Saturday.

“I am ready to get started from tomorrow,” he said. “If it is possible, let’s do it!

“I have seen Parc des Princes, and I am itching to pull on my new shirt and play. I have not spoken with the coach about whether I will play or not, where I will play or if he wants me to play yet.”

He said he does not fear the weight of expectations after PSG broke the world transfer record.

“To be the most expensive player in the world does not concern me or weigh me down,” he said. “I am still the same weight as always. I have nothing on my back.”

PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi, appearing alongside Neymar at the news conference, said he viewed his new signing as the finest footballer on the planet.

“I am very happy to present our big star, an idol to the whole world,” he said. “We have always wanted Neymar. He is the best player in the world, and now he is ours.”


On Paris Saint-Germain adhering to UEAF’s financial fair play rules Al-Khelaifi says,

“You are talking about financial fair play — we have been very transparent.  We have been from Day 1, and we will be until the last day here with UEFA about financial fair play.”

“There is no problem. I have a strong team with me working day and night, working, applying the regulation on the financial fair play.

“However, if anyone is thinking about financial fair play, I tell them: Please, go have a coffee and don’t worry about us, we are in good hands. Thank you.'”

He says the value of the club as increased since the deal, explaining: “Before Neymar, PSG were worth €1 billion. With Neymar, we are now worth €1.5 billion.

“It is a transfer that has cost a lot today, but that will surely not be the case in two years’ time.”

“I have heard people criticise Ligue 1, but I do not agree with that,” he said. “I have spoken with others who have played here, and I have learned that there are no easy matches. We are here to win titles.”

He added: “We want to win the Champions League but other titles as well. We are here to write the club’s history.”

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