Neymar signs 5-year deal with PSG in world transfer record
PARIS» Six years after taking over perennial underachiever Paris Saint-Germain, the French club’s wealthy owners finally got what they wanted by hiring Neymar — a player they believe will bring them Champions League glory.
The Brazil star became the most expensive player in soccer history after completing his blockbuster transfer from Barcelona for $262 million on Thursday. By paying the release clause in his contract, PSG shattered the world transfer record to sign arguably one of the top three best attacking players in the game, alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The previous transfer record had been set a year ago when Manchester United paid $116 million to bring Paul Pogba back from Juventus.
Ironically, the 25-year-old Neymar signed a five-year contract with the French league side just five months after playing a decisive role as Barcelona produced a comeback that made Champions League history — at PSG’s expense.
Having lost their first leg match 4-0 in France, Barcelona was trailing 5-3 on aggregate in the 88th minute in Spain, only for Neymar to score twice in the final minutes before Sergi Roberto’s winner in added time sealed a humiliating exit from the Round of 16 for PSG.
Next season, it will be different. “Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings,” Neymar said in comments released by PSG. “I played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”
PSG would certainly welcome the kind of success that Neymar enjoyed in Spain.
In his four seasons there, Neymar scored 105 goals as Barcelona won the Champions League, Club World Cup, two Spanish league titles and Copa del Rey three times.