NEYMAR: THE (€222) SUPERSTAR TO TAKE PSG TO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GLORY?
Paris Saint-Germain have completed the signing of the century. For a fee of €222 million – far more than double Paul Pogba’s previous world record transfer of €105m – it cannot be considered anything but.
Neymar’s move to the Parc des Princes from Barcelona is the clearest statement of intent the Ligue 1 runners-up could have made that they have elevated themselves into a select group of superclubs who can win the Champions League each season.
The Neymar deal is a stark admission of their unrelenting ambition, designed to not only improve their team, but to send out a message: PSG mean business.
Crowned the third-best player in the world at the 2015 Ballon d’Or awards and then fifth in 2016, the 25-year-old Brazilian offers the kind of guaranteed longevity that neither Cristiano Ronaldo at 32 nor Lionel Messi at 30, who have monopolised the prize since 2008, can.
PSG have seen at first hand the damage that the Brazilian can inflict on defences. As they crashed spectacularly out of the Champions League in March, it was Neymar who was the chief architect of the Catalan’s stunning 6-1 success, notably scoring twice late on before teeing up Sergi Roberto for the winner.
Many football lovers would love to see neymar succeed at PSG away from the shadows of Lionel messi. Barca fans however would for a long time feel the sting of disappointment at his movement (Neymar jr) away from camp Nou.