Paris Saint-Germain have smashed the world transfer record by completing the €222 million signing of Neymar from Barcelona on a five-year contract.
The world record deal is a little over twice the amount Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba barely a year ago, but even at that, Barcelona fans are finding it hard to digest the news of his departure. Neymar took to his Instagram page on Thursday to send a farewell message to his Barcelona teammates and his fans across the globe. He also explained the reason he opted to move to PSG as a need to explore new challenges, although he said it was a “hard decision” to leave Barcelona
The message reads:
”I prepared a text here for today. The life of an athlete is made by challenges. Some are given to us. Others are fruits of our own decisions to keep the light that illuminates our career, which is intense but short.
“Barcelona was much more than a challenge. It was the dream of a child who played with those stars through the video game. I arrived at Catalonia when I was 21 years old filled with challenges.
“I can still remember my first days in the club sharing the changing room with idols like Messi, Valdes, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique, Busquets and many others. Waiting my turn to play in a club that’s “mes que un club”.
“Barcelona is a nation representing Catalonia. I had the honor of playing with the best athlete I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m sure i will never see another one like him when I’m alive. Leo Messi became my friend on and off the pitch. It was an honor to play with you. I made a trio with Messi and Suarez that made history and conquered everything an athlete can conquer.
“I lived unforgettable moments. Lived in a city that’s more than a city. It’s a homeland. I love Barcelona and I love Catalonia. But an athlete (ME) needs challenges. And for the second time in my life, I’ll contradict my father. Father I understand and respect your opinion but my decision is made and I ask you to support me as you always do. “So go with God and be happy, ok son. Kiss I’m running up here with you”.
“Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need new challenges. I accepted PSG’s proposal to try new achievements and help the club win the titles that their crowd wants. They showed me a daring career plan and I feel ready to take on this challenge. I thank the wonderful blaugrana crowd and everything learned with the great athletes that I had the chance to share the dressing room.
“Now I feel in my heart that it’s time to leave. PSG will be my home for the next few years and I will work hard to honor all of the trust placed in my football. I’m counting on the support of all of you who’s been with me since 2009.
“Fans, friends, professionals who are with me and my family who suffered a lot with some problems that took place during that period in my career.Today you deserve peace. It’s a very hard decision, but I made it with the maturity I accumulated through those 25 years.
“Barcelona gracies per tot! Paris j’arrive! May God bless and protect us.