Neymar: Paris St-Germain sign Barcelona forward for world record 222m euros



What else could you buy for Neymar’s £200m?

Paris St-Germain have signed Brazil forward Neymar for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) from Barcelona.

The deal for the 25-year-old smashes the previous record set when Paul Pogba returned to Manchester United from Juventus for £89m in August 2016.

He will earn 45m euros (£40.7m) a year – 865,000 euros (£782,000) a week – before tax from the initial five-year deal, a total outlay of £400m.

Neymar said he has joined “one of the most ambitious clubs in Europe”.

“Paris St-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings,” he added.

“I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new team-mates.”

A late snag?

After weeks of speculation, Neymar arrived for training with Barcelona on Wednesday with his father and representative, and told the Spanish club he wanted to leave.

He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde to leave to “sort out his future”.

In Spain, a release clause can only be activated by a player buying himself out of his contract.

But when Neymar’s lawyers attempted to make the deposit on Thursday, La Liga officials rejected the payment. Further statements followed from all sides as the negotiations continued.

La Liga believes French club PSG are violating Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and Barcelona previously said they would report PSG to European football’s governing body Uefa for a FFP breach.

PSG believes La Liga was acting unlawfully, while the French league (LFP) said it was “surprised” and urged its Spanish counterpart to “abide by the Fifa rules”.

So later on Thursday, Neymar’s representatives paid the 222m euros (£200m) fee at Barca’s offices instead.

Brazil star Neymar lights up 2014 World Cup

So FFP… who is right?

FFP rules, first implemented during the 2011-12 season, stipulate that European clubs cannot outspend what they earn by more than 30m euros.

PSG is backed by money from Gulf state Qatar and La Liga president Javier Tebas has accused the French club of “financial doping”.

Neymar joined Spanish giants Barca in 2013 and has won two La Liga titles and one Champions League

PSG reached the last eight of the Champions League last season – knocked out by a Neymar-inspired Barcelona – and were beaten to the French title by Monaco.

It is the first time PSG – ranked the 11th most valuable club in the world by Forbes – have broken the global transfer record, with Real Madrid paying five of the past six highest fees. The deal dwarfs the £89m Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer – the previous world record.

His departure from Barcelona breaks up the feted attacking trident he formed with Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez.

On Wednesday, Messi posted on Instagram: “It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you my friend Neymar. I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life.” To which Neymar replied: “Thank you brother. I will miss you.”

Neymar in profile

  • Born in Mogi das Cruzes, a suburb of Sao Paulo, on 5 February 1992
  • Started his career at Santos after signing a professional contract in January 2009
  • Remains Santos’ leading goalscorer in the post-Pele era with 138 goals in 229 matches
  • Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United were all linked before he eventually signed for Barcelona in June 2013 at the age of 21
  • He made his Barca debut against Levante in August 2013 and went on to score 105 goals and provide 80 assists in 186 games for the Catalan club
  • Made his international debut aged 18 and he has scored 52 goals in 77 games for Brazil
Neymar at Barcelona last season
Games Minutes played Goals Minutes per goal Assists
45 3,972 20 199 27
Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympic history after just 14 seconds against Honduras in the Rio 2016 men’s semi-final

What happened the last time Neymar was signed

When Neymar joined Barcelona in June 2013, the club said they paid a total of £48.6m.

But after Barca refused to offer more details, an investigation was started by the Spanish prosecutor into whether the club had defrauded the treasury of unpaid tax.

The president Sandro Rosell, who personally oversaw the pursuit of Neymar, eventually resigned – though he said it was for personal reasons – and his successor, Josep Maria Bartomeu, revealed the true cost of the deal was actually £71.5m.

  • Neymar’s father got £33m fee, plus £2m in “agent fees”
  • Santos got £14m, plus £6m by giving Barca an option on future Santos players
  • The player got an £8m signing-on fee, plus £9m a year in wages over five years
  • Neymar’s charitable foundation in Brazil also received £2m

Stepping out of Messi’s shadow? – Neymar stats

  • Since joining Barca in 2013, Neymar has scored 68 goals in four full seasons – behind Cristiano Ronaldo (139), Messi (134), Luis Suarez (85), Antoine Griezmann (76) and Athletic Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz (70)
  • In that same period, he has the fifth most direct assists with 38 – again behind Messi (54), Atletico Madrid’s Koke (45), Suarez (43) and Ronaldo (42)
  • In chances created in that time (287), he is second only to team-mate Messi (326)
  • He had the highest number of chances created last season (91) – more than any other PSG player (Angel di Maria had 78)
  • Edinson Cavani scored almost three times as many league goals (35) than Neymar (13) last season

History of the world transfer record

In 1975, Italian Giuseppe Savoldi became football’s first £1m player with his move from Bologna to Napoli. And Britain followed suit four years later, when Nottingham Forest paid Birmingham City £1.2m for England forward Trevor Francis.

Only two players have broken the transfer record twice: Argentina legend Diego Maradona and Brazil great Ronaldo.

Maradona moved from Boca Juniors to Barcelona for £3m in 1982, before joining Napoli two years later for £5m. Ronaldo joined Barcelona for £13.2m in 1996, but left after just one season to join Inter for £19.5m.

Brazil winger Denilson (£21.5m), Italy striker Christian Vieri (£32m), Argentina forward Hernan Crespo (£35.5m), Portugal winger Luis Figo (£37m) and France playmaker Zinedine Zidane (£46m) all raised the bar over the next three years.

Brazil midfielder Kaka (£56m) breached the £50m barrier in 2009 before his new club Real Madrid broke the record again by signing Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for £80m three weeks later.

The Bernabeu club beat their own record again with their £85m deal with Tottenham for Wales forward Gareth Bale in 2013 – before Manchester United paid £89m for France midfielder Pogba last summer.

The top 10 most expensive deals (fees as reported in sterling at the time) before Neymar

Reaction & #NeymarMaths

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “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.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “Once a country owns a club it becomes very difficult. For me it is the consequence of ownerships which has changed completely the landscape of football.”

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

Lille director general Marc Ingla, a former Barcelona vice president: “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.”

Barcelona’s Arda Turan: