- January 6, 2019
- Posted by: worldsoccerinstitute.com
- Category: Business plans
By Victor Mather, Aug. 4, 2017, NEW YORK TIMES
Neymar, the dynamic Brazilian forward, was officially unveiled as a player for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday after his $263 million transfer, which more than doubled the world record. Neymar said the dollar or euro signs were not important: “I have never been motivated by money. I always follow my heart.” He said it was “really sad” to be asked if money was his motivation.
His debut for P.S.G. will not come immediately, however. He will not be available for the team’s season-opener on Saturday against Amiens, the BBC reported, because his international transfer certificate did not meet a midnight deadline.
The team has a number of key Brazilian players, including Lucas Moura, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Thiago Motta and Dani Alves, so Neymar may not need as much time as usual to learn to play with the team.
Neymar’s transfer topped the $116 million set when Manchester United acquired Paul Pogba from Juventus last year. The heavy spending by P.S.G. has raised the question of whether it is running afoul of the Financial Fair Play rules introduced by European soccer’s governing body in recent years; those rules limit a team’s outlays based on its revenue.
P.S.G.’s chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, dismissed concerns Friday. “If you are thinking about it,” he said, “go have a coffee and don’t worry about it.
“Before Neymar the value of the club was $1 billion. Now it is $1.5 billion,” he said.
At 25, Neymar is notably younger than the other two men often called the world’s best player, his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, 30, and the Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, 32. That age difference makes Neymar arguably an even more valuable commodity than the other two players.
P.S.G., bought by Qatari interests in 2011, certainly can afford him. But while it has plenty of money, the club has not proven itself to be a truly elite European team on the field just yet. Over the last five seasons, it has not made it past the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Europe’s top club competition.
Last season’s elimination was the most embarrassing. After beating Barcelona, 4-0, at home in the round of 16, P.S.G. seemed finally to have shown itself to be among Europe’s cream. Then Barcelona stomped P.S.G., 6-1, in the return leg. Two of those goals came from Neymar.
After four consecutive French titles, P.S.G. also faltered domestically last season, finishing second to Monaco.
Hungry for success, the team has brought in big stars before, including the Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. But the signing of Neymar brings it to a new level of expectation.
And Neymar, used to playing in the comforting shadow of Messi at Barcelona, now will be his team’s unquestioned superstar.
Neymar has the consolation of being well-compensated by his new team, to the tune of more than half a million dollars a week.