After four seasons with FC Barcelona, 25-year-old soccer superstar Neymar da Silva Santos Jr, best known simply as Neymar, has been transferred to the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain in the richest transfer deal in history.
In transfers within the five biggest European soccer leagues, the acquiring team must pay a fee, which is then distributed to the team’s owner, the player and several others involved in the switch. With Neymar’s record-breaking transfer, PSG paid a whopping $262 million to Barcelona for the rights to receive one of the best players in the world, surpassing the previous record by nearly $140 million.
“I have conquered everything an athlete can conquer. I have lived unforgettable moments. But a player needs challenges,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.
According to the Guardian, Neymar has signed a five year contract, which is said to be worth €30m a year after tax – equivalent to around £520,000 ($680,000) a week. However, Neymar says he was “never motivated by [the] money.”
“It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made, I was at a great club at Barcelona, I love Barcelona, I have great friends at the club. They are fantastic players, it wasn’t easy at all. It was very tense, I had to think, re-think and think again about what I wanted to achieve in my life.”
“I’ve left a lot of very good friends behind, but that’s football, things go really fast in football, you make friends at every team you play for and that’s everything.”
“I’d like to thank my friends at Barcelona but I felt it was the right time to leave and look for something different.”