NEYMAR is targeting Champions League glory with Paris St Germain after completing a world-record transfer to the ambitious French club.
On Thursday the 25-year-old Brazil forward, whose release from Barcelona was secured for 222million euros (£200.6million) by his legal team, signed a five-year deal with PSG.
How the transfer record has changed over time
Owned by Qatar Sports Investments, the Parisians’ principal target remains winning the Champions League, a competition in which they have consistently failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals.
Neymar, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2015, has now committed to the challenge of landing Europe’s top club prize with PSG.
He told his new team’s website: “I am extremely happy to join Paris St Germain.
“Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious.
“And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new team-mates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.
“PSG’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I have 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 team-mates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”
Neymar indicated his desire to depart Barcelona, for whom he scored more than 100 goals, on Wednesday.
He revealed his father, Neymar Santos Sr, had wanted him to stay in Catalonia, but the lure of a new challenge was too strong.
On his official Facebook page, he wrote: “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!”
The Sao Paulo-born striker will meet the press in Paris today, at 1330 local time, before being formally presented on the Parc des Princes pitch two hours later.
French newspaper Le Parisien claimed he will earn 30million euros (£27million) 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 said: “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.
“Today, 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 105million euros – worth £89million 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.
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