Paris Saint-Germain splurged over double the previous world-record transfer fee to complete the signing of Neymar for €222 million on Thursday.
The release clause in the Brazilian’s binned Barcelona contract eclipsed the previous €105-million high Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last summer, and promises to have La Liga and Neymar’s former employer clamouring to report PSG to UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
The 25-year-old subsequently signed a five-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain, and ends a four-season tenure with Barcelona that saw him collect two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, and score in the Champions League triumph which concluded the 2014-15 campaign.
It’s been widely speculated that a move to the French capital will primarily assist Neymar’s pursuit of personal goals. In addition to an annual salary worth a reported €30 million after tax, and the €38-million bonus that the Santos product’s father and advisor, Neymar Sr., and others including agent Pini Zahavi will share, Neymar will undoubtedly be top dog at PSG. By escaping the shadow of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi at Barcelona, the forward’s view of the top individual prizes is hoped to be less obscured. He will be the centrepiece of the attack, rather than simply exploring channels down the left flank beside Luis Suarez in his No. 9 role, and the omnipresent Messi.
There’s also the coveted tag of being the most expensive player in the world. The wages and bonuses after the €222-million payment sees the potential cost of Neymar’s arrival and five-year contract reach around €500 million.
Since the takeover from Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, Paris Saint-Germain has tempted in progressively bigger buys each season.