Neymar eighth most expensive
05 June 2013, 12:20
Barcelona - Neymar became the eighth most expensive signing in football
history by moving to Barcelona in a deal worth €57m (R740m) on Monday,
uniting the Brazil star with Lionel Messi in a formidable attacking
VIDEO: Barcelona unveil Neymar
signed a five-year contract with club president Sandro Rosell after
choosing Barcelona over Real Madrid in an intense two-year bidding war
between the fierce Spanish rivals.
Barca vice-president Josep
Bartomeu revealed the club had expected to pay about €40m, but that "the
interference of other clubs" inflated the price, an allusion to Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka, Luis
Figo, Hulk and Fernando Torres have cost a club more than Neymar.
previous most expensive transfer was when they paid €45m to Inter Milan
for Ibrahimovic in 2009 plus sent striker Samuel Eto'o the other way.
Neymar, whose contract includes a buyout clause worth €190m, laughed shyly when asked if he was worth the price paid for him.
but I am very grateful that Barcelona did what it had to do (to)
complete my childhood (dream), to be with my idols," he said.
signing his contract, the 21-year-old striker jogged on to the Nou Camp
pitch for the first time in his new Barcelona kit bearing the name
"Neymar Jr" on the back.
"I am very happy, very moved to be a
Barcelona player and fulfill my dream," Neymar told the 56 500 fans who
turned out to welcome him.
Neymar quickly made it clear that he knows that he will have to play second fiddle to Messi.
want to help the team," he said. "I have come to add my part so that
Lionel Messi continues to be the best player in the world."
flight from Brazil arrived an hour behind schedule, at about 13:00
local time. Decked out in black with sunglasses and a baseball cap, he
took a chartered bus straight to the Nou Camp and had his first
photograph taken in front of the blue and burgundy club insignia.
the traditional thumbs-up welcome shoot Neymar stepped forward and
waved over the mob of photographers to the hundreds of fans who had
gathered wearing Brazil and Barcelona jerseys and chanting his name.
He was then rushed through two medical tests and back to the office to sign the deal.
Neymar later told a packed press hall that he had "followed his heart" when he opted to come to Barcelona.
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