Neymar lands in Paris ahead of grand unveiling after £200m move from Barcelona

04 August 2017 11:38

Brazil forward Neymar has arrived in Paris ahead of his unveiling as the most expensive player in the history of football.

The 25-year-old has signed a five-year deal with ambitious Paris St Germain after his legal representatives paid Barcelona a world-record fee of 222 million euros (£200.6million) to release him from his contract at the Nou Camp.

PSG tweeted images of Neymar disembarking a private jet near the French capital several hours before his introductory press conference - at 1330 local time on Friday - and on-pitch presentation at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar is now targeting Champions League glory with PSG, the one major prize which continues to elude the Qatar Sports Investments-owned club.

He admitted it was that challenge which convinced him to leave Barca after a successful four-year spell. His father, Neymar Santos Sr, was among those who had advised him to remain in Catalonia, however.

On his official Facebook page, he wrote: "A sportsman needs challenges.

"For the second time in my life I'm going to be opposing my dad.

"Dad, I understand and respect your opinion but my decision is made. I ask you to support me as you always have.

"Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need new challenges."

At the Nou Camp he formed the fabled 'MSN' strike partnership along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that delivered a treble of league, cup and Champions League in the 2014-15 season.

Neymar added on Facebook: "I had the honour to play with the greatest athlete I've ever seen and I'm sure I won't see a better one. Leo Messi became my partner and friend both on and off the pitch. I love you!

"I formed an attack with Messi and Suarez that has gone down in history. I've conquered everything a sportsman can conquer. I've lived unforgettable moments!

"I lived in a city that's more than a city, it's a country. I love Barcelona and Catalonia."

PSG, purchased by their current Qatari owners in 2011, won Ligue 1 four times in a row before being deposed by Monaco last season, and they have thus far failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

From pain the Parisians have clearly drawn inspiration as Neymar was the driving force behind Barcelona's remarkable comeback against PSG in the competition's last eight in March.

He scored twice and set up the winner as the Catalans remarkably won 6-1 to overturn a 4-0 first-leg deficit.

French newspaper Le Parisien claimed he will earn 30m euros (£27m) net per year at PSG, or close to 600,000 euros (£540,000) each week after tax.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Qatari businessman told the club website: "He will bring a very positive energy to this club.

"In six years, we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football.

"With the arrival of Neymar I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realising our greatest dreams."

Barcelona, meanwhile, have passed the details of the deal to UEFA. The fee obliterates the previous record of 105m euros - worth £89m at the time - that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.

The Catalan club are keen for the governing body to "determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case" with issues of Financial Fair Play and adherence to European transfer rules in mind.

Source: PA