Football: Paris Saint-Germain pays world record €222m to sign Neymar

Friday, August 4, 2017

Yesterday, French capital football club Paris Saint-Germain triggered a €222 million (about US$263m, £198m) buyout clause of Brazilian winger Neymar to sign him from FC Barcelona, making him the most expensive footballer of all time by breaking the previous fee record of Paul Pogba’s transfer from Juventus FC to Manchester United. Neymar signed a five year contract with Paris SG which runs until June 2022.

25-year-old Neymar made his professional debut for Santos FC in January 2009, netting 138 goals in 229 matches. He was signed by FC Barcelona in 2013. Since then, Neymar has scored 105 goals and provided 80 assists in 186 games for Barça. In four seasons at Camp Nou, Neymar won two LaLiga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies, and one each of Champions League trophy Supercopa de España. Neymar was part of Barcelona’s treble winning squad in 2014–15, and finished third in 2015’s FIFA Ballon d’Or. Neymar made an international debut at the age of eighteen. He has scored 52 goals in 77 games for Brazil.

I am extremely happy to join Paris St Germain.

Paris SG’s Qatari president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said, “Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realizing our greatest dreams”.

After penning a five-year contract, Neymar said, “I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.”

Neymar’s lawyer submitted a check of €222m to deposit Neymar’s buy-out clause at LaLiga’s headquarters, but it was rejected. LaLiga officials issued an official statement, which read, “We can confirm that the player’s lawyers came to the La Liga offices this morning to deposit the clause and that it has been rejected.[…] That’s all the information we are giving out at this moment.”

Later, Neymar’s legal representative delivered the check to FC Barcelona. A statement from Barcelona confirmed they received the payment and Neymar was no longer contracted to the club. The statement read, “On Thursday afternoon Neymar Jr’s legal representatives visited in person the Club’s offices and made the payment of 222 million euros in the player’s name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties.” ((es)) Spanish language: Esta tarde, representantes legales de Neymar Jr. se han personado en las oficinas del Club y han hecho efectivo, en nombre del jugador, el pago de 222 millones de euros, en concepto de indemnización por la rescisión unilateral y sin causa del contrato que unía a ambas partes. It also said, “the Club will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case.” ((es)) Spanish language: el Club trasladará a la UEFA los detalles de esta operación para que depuren las responsabilidades disciplinarias que puedan derivarse de este caso. Financial fair play rules prevents European clubs from spending more than €30 million from their earnings. Paris SG was fined by UEFA in 2014 for violating financial fair play rules.

Manchester United’s manager José Mourinho, who spent about €105 million last season to sign Paul Pogba, and a reported fee of €75 million to sign Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton FC this season, said, “Expensive are the ones who get into a certain level without a certain quality. For £200m, I don’t think [Neymar] is expensive. […] I think he’s expensive in the fact that now you are going to have more players at £100m, you are going have more players at £80m and more players at £60m. And I think that’s the problem. […] So I think the problem is not Neymar, I think the problem is the consequences of Neymar.”

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said, “I thought Fair Play was made so that situations like that can’t happen. That’s more of a suggestion than a real rule.”

French club Lille director general Marc Ingla, who had once served as Barça’s vice-president said, “It’s a blow for Barcelona. Neymar is an accelerator to this bright future of Ligue 1. The young talent pool we have here is the best in Europe. For sure we can still compete with PSG. Once you get on the pitch it’s 11 v 11 and all the transfer fees and salaries narrow a bit.”

Before the official announcement of the agreement, yesterday, Arsenal’s manager Arsène Wenger also remarked about the financial fair play and said, “Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect the financial fair play because you can have different ways or different interests for a country to have such a big player to represent [that] country. It can’t justify the investments and looks unusual for the game. That’s why I always [support] football living with its own resources. You don’t look at the numbers in their absolute value anymore. Football has been for a long time out of normal society and the numbers are like the NBA in basketball, so it’s not comparable to normal life anymore. Those are the numbers. It was already out of context of society, so after it just becomes a bit extra. You cannot calculate what it brings in anymore, it’s just a number.”

On Wednesday, Neymar’s Lionel Messi posted on Instagram: “It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you, friend @neymarjr [Neymar]. I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life. See you tomorrow” ((es)) Spanish language: Fue un placer enorme haber compartido todos estos años con vos, amigo @neymarjr [Neymar]. Te deseo mucha suerte en esta nueva etapa de tu vida. Nos vemos Tkm .

Barcelona’s striker Luis Suárez dedicated an Instagram post for Neymar after Lionel Messi, and said, ” My friend i wish you the best in everything that comes!!! Also thank you for your support, for everything that i learned with you and for the unique moments that we spent together!!!! Keep like this and never change love you little bro” ((es)) Spanish language: Amigo desearte todo lo mejor en lo que viene!!! También agradecerte todo el cariño que me diste, por lo que aprendí contigo y por los momentos únicos que pasamos!!!! Seguí así y no cambies nunca te quiero hermanito .

Neymar has been assigned number 10 jersey.

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