An unprecedented event took place in the world of football yesterday as Neymar completed his world record move to Paris Saint-Germain after the 25-year-old paid off his €222m buyout clause to Barcelona. He will earn an estimated €30m a year. The move had been in jeopardy earlier in the day when La Liga refused to accept the €222m payment from PSG to trigger the clause, forcing Neymar’s legal team to travel to Barcelona to make the payment directly to the club. It’s very funny when you put it into perspective that only two decades ago, Inter Milan secured the services of Ronaldo Da Lima for a world record fee of $27 million from Barcelona.
However, Ronaldo was the reigning World Player of the Year, had yet to turn 21 and had already won the World Cup with Brazil. PSG are getting a player whom a lot of people believe will become the best player in the world in a couple of years, a leader in the Selecao and a multiple UCL and La Liga title. Let’s look at what Neymar will be bringing to the city of love.
He will make them genuine contenders
Since the takeover of PSG by Qatar Sports Investments, one of their major ambitions has been to win the UEFA Champions League trophy and become the first club from France to properly win the trophy (Marseille won it in 1993, but the title has been tainted with allegations of match fixing, which saw them banned from participation in the UCL for the following season).
The acquisition of Neymar makes them genuine contenders for the trophy. They reached the quarter-finals in four straight seasons between 2012 and 2016 before suffering a historic capitulation in last year’s round of 16 when they lost 6-1 to Barcelona in the second leg after winning the first leg 4-0 in Paris. Neymar, who was the main architect of that triumph for Barcelona, is now a PSG player and they have also added the services of another Brazilian and a serial UCL campaigner and winner, Dani Alves. The addition of these two experienced players to their already formidable squad has seen their chances of winning the UCL increase and bookmakers have already made them one of the favourites to win the competition.
One of the major chinks in the armour of PSG has been their inability to inspire fear and awe into the opposition as they aren’t always perceived as a team that can take you to the cleaners on any given day, due to their inconsistent performances. An example of that was shown last season in the UCL and Ligue 1. However, with the arrival of Neymar to the club, they now have a bonafide superstar who can grab a game by the scruff of the neck and inspire his teammates to turn a potentially helpless situation into victory as he has shown often times in his young career for Santos, Brazil and Barcelona.
The club will now truly inspire fear into opposition teams with their new team this season and that will help them a lot as some of these teams will have already been beaten psychologically before the blast of the referee’s whistle to start the game.
We can go on and on about the absurd amount of money this whole deal will total to at the end of five years, but we should also remember that this deal is an investment on the part of PSG. The global appeal of Neymar is massive and still on the rise, so jersey sales and purchase of other club merchandise will definitely increase, which will add to the bottom-line of the club. The 25-year-old is one of the most marketable sportsmen on the planet and the face of any number of huge brands. He is not just a phenomenal footballer; he is also an incredible commercial asset and will be immensely valuable for PSG.
The club has been on the brink of being one of the major forces on the continent for a number of years now, but they have never really been seen as a true European behemoth by the public and thus do not get the respect they crave for. The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are seen as the true European giants and this move by PSG will surely earn them the respect of the public and that of these big clubs as it has shown that they are willing to go to any lengths to match them and create a new legacy and path for the club. These are surely exciting times for fans of the Paris club as they are now truly in the league of the big boys and it’s only a matter of time before they win the UCL and possess the best player in the world.