Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, otherwise known simply as Neymar Jr, has made a name for himself as one of the best young players in the world over the past few years and has now become the world’s most expensive player by moving to French side Paris St. Germain on Thursday for €222 million.
The Brazilian international made a name for himself at his boyhood club Santos where he made his debut aged 17, scoring 136 goals in just 225 appearances. During this time he was named South American Footballer of the Year. Bids were reportedly made for the playmaker from the likes of Chelsea and West Ham after just two seasons at the club with Neymar choosing to stay with his boyhood club for a while longer. However, when European giants Barcelona came looking for him in 2014, he could not resist and signed a deal worth €86.2 million.
At Barcelona, he formed a third of a formidable South American strike partnership with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scoring 105 times in 186 appearances for the Spanish side. Whilst at Barcelona, the Brazilian playmaker won all trophies available including La Liga (Spanish league), the Copa del Rey (cup), Champion’s League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup. He was also shortlisted for the Ballon D’Or award for the best player in the world in 2015, finishing third behind his teammate Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. After four seasons at Barcelona and weeks of speculation, Neymar eventually moved to PSG on Thursday for a new world record fee.
It is believed that La Liga refused to accept the money and asked the governing body of European Football, UEFA to investigate the transfer. They believed it did not abide by the Financial Fair Play rules that UEFA had introduced to stop transfer fees escalating to the point where clubs are spending more than they are making. However, it is believed that the Qatari businessmen that own the French giants found a way around the rules. It is believed that they will either sell a couple of players each year of Neymar’s contract for €50 million each, or that they have paid Neymar €222 million to be an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup, due to be held in Qatar, and that he activated the release clause himself.
Speaking about his reasons for the move, the Brazilian insisted that he ‘was never motitrated by money’ and that his ‘heart told me [him] that it was the right time to sign for PSG’. He also said that he went there ‘to take on a new challenge and to win titles’. It is believed that he will be paid €30million a year to play for the