Barcelona were desperate to hang on to their prized asset Neymar, with a strong conviction that no one will ever meet the 222 million euros price tag but then PGS popped up, waving the big cheque and completed one of the most outrageously expensive transfers in the history of world football.
Neymar is next to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo; it has been like that for the past four or five years. The Brazilian is a phenomenal attacking jewel who at 25 still has the best of his of years ahead of him but his mentality will be inevitably tested when the whole world will be impatiently waiting to see him justify the whopping sum splashed on him. Tongues have been wagging and jaws dropped since the deal was announced on Thursday, it is ludicrous to believe one man commands a figure as prohibitive as that. Such swaggering figure is a common phenomenon in basketball but no transfer in the history of NBA is as expensive as the money PSG splashed on Neymar. He will reportedly earn 30m euros (£27m) net per year at PSG, or close to 600,000 euros (£540,000) each week after tax.
However, it is instructive to note that, for footballing reasons, it was a good move for Neymar and his new club. The Brazilian had operated under the shadow of Messi since he arrived Europe and it was time for him to chart his own course. He is not the best player in the world, Messi and Ronaldo would still be picked by most to top that list, but if he maintains the upward trajectory of his career it likely won’t be long before he is soccer’s preeminent character. He can’t achieve that in Messi’s exclusive enclave, Neymar has to be the lord elsewhere to conveniently compete.
At PSG, Neymar will be the undisputed No. 1. It’s easy to see why the idea of being the player who, at last, brings PSG to their first Champions League title might appeal. That may enhance his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or, an individual award that dominates the thoughts of gifted young players Aged 17, Neymar scored on his first senior start, took the 2011 Copa Libertadores by storm, leading Santos to their first South American title since 1948 with six goals and collected the 2011 FIFA Puskas Award, given to the player judged to have scored the best goal of the year.
He remains one of the six South Americans to have won both the UEFA Champions League and Copa Libertadores and formed a devastating partnership with Messi and Luiz Suarez to win leaurels for Barcelona. The money for him is outrageous, and he will constantly be on the radar to prove he’s worth every penny.
He said he didn’t move for the money. He said: “I wanted a new challenge. This was about ambition. My heart told me that it was time to sign for Paris St Germain. It was the right time to leave Barcelona and find new challenges. “I was never motivated by money. I thought above all else about the happiness of my family, regardless of money. I regret that some people think this is the case.”
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