Neymar has become the most expensive player in soccer history after completing his blockbuster transfer to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona on Thursday for $262 million. PSG triggered the release clause in the forward’s Barcelona contract, which was more than double the previous transfer record set a year ago when Manchester United paid $116 million for Paul Pogba.
PSG said in a statement that the 25-year-old Neymar had signed a five-year contract, until June 2022. PSG said “his arrival into the Paris Saint-Germain family emphasizes more than ever the club’s aims to rise to the top of world football.” Barcelona did all it could to stop Neymar from leaving and had vowed to complain to the UEFA, European soccer’s ruling body, if his seemingly untouchable release clause was triggered.
The payment of the clause directly to the club was the second attempt Neymar’s representatives had made on Thursday to break his bond with Barcelona. Earlier in the day, his lawyer, Juan de Dios Crespo, had tried to deposit the enormous sum at the Spanish league’s offices in Madrid, but he was turned away. The league refused to accept the payment and wouldn’t act as an intermediary for the player, an official told the Associated Press at the time.
The Brazilian had been continually linked with a move away from Camp Nou over the summer, and had declined to clarify his own future as the PSG rumours grew stronger. And after weeks of denials, mixed messages and reports, he has finally been confirmed as the Ligue 1 club’s latest signing on Thursday night.”Paris Saint-Germain are very pleased to announce the arrival of Neymar Jr,” the Parisiens said in a statement on their official website. “The Brazilian attacker signed a five-year contract in the presence of club and player representatives. Neymar Jr is now tied to the club of the capital until June 30, 2022.”
Neymar emerged as a teenage wonderkid at Santos, winning the Copa Libertadores in 2011 before switching Brazil for Catalunya. After moving to Camp Nou in 2013 the Brazilian hit 105 goals in 186 games for Barca, forming part of the formidable MSN forward line alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Having gone trophyless in his debut season Neymar celebrated the treble in 2014-15, adding a further Liga and two Copa del Rey trophies in the following two campaigns as well as a host of other team and individual titles.
Neymar is one of soccer’s top talents. He scored 105 goals playing alongside Lionel Messi and was a key playmaker for Barcelona as it won a Champions League, two Spanish leagues, three Copa del Reys, one Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups.