Neymar admits it was ‘difficult’ to leave Barcelona but joined PSG because he ‘wanted a bigger challenge’
The French capital has been gripped by Neymar-fever ever since his deal was confirmed on Thursday night. Fans of the club queued for hours to buy the new shirt with ‘Neymar Jr, 10’ on the back.
“This is a wonderful city. I really can’t describe what I am feeling now,” Neymar said at his presentation. “I am very happy.
“It’s all a question of ambition. I wanted a bigger challenge. My heart made this decision and followed this ambition.
He continued: “This is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I was at a great club at Barcelona. I am leaving a lot of very good friends behind. But that is football.”
PSG president Nasser el-Khelaifi added: “Neymar has come to join us to write Paris Saint-Germain history. As far as I’m concerned, Neymar is the best player in the world.”
When asked if Neymar’s signing was ‘revenge’ for Barcelona’s attempt to sign Marco Verratti, el-Khelaifi replied: “Not at all, no revenge, nothing at all, nothing about Verratti. What I want to say to the Barcelona fans is thank you for your friendship.”
Now, with Friday’s presentation completing the formalities, supporters can begin to look forward to seeing their new man in action.
His move comes after the Brazilian media reported that Neymar was convinced by the PSG hierarchy that he will be the star of the moneyed side’s project.
Neymar joins his close friend and compatriot Dani Alves in Paris, after the full-back snubbed Manchester City to join the Ligue 1 side, in a move which appears to have been part of the club’s attempt to lure the forward.
PSG are are currently in the USA as part of their pre-season preparations and will face Juventus and Tottenham before returning to France.
Neymar released a a statement after his move was confimred on Thursday night. It read: “I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain.
“Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious.
“And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.
“Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge.
“From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teamates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”
In announcing their new star, the club confirmed he will take the No.10 shirt from Javier Pastore.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said: “It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar Jr is today one of the very best players in world football.
“His winning mentality, strength of character and sense of leadership have made him into a great player. He will bring a very positive energy to this club.
“In six years, we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football.
“Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realizing our greatest dreams.”
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