No Lack Of Respect Towards Barca – Neymar
Brazil’s Neymar has denied that he had shown a lack of respect to Barcelona during talks with new club Paris Saint-Germain amid accusations that he had betrayed the Spanish giants.
The 25-year-old arrived in Paris yesterday after signing the biggest transfer deal in world history to join PSG for 222 million euros ($264m).
Some fans in Barcelona say he betrayed the Spanish club but Neymar told a press conference at PSG’s headquarters: “At no point did I lack respect to the supporters or the club.”
Neymar has reportedly tripled his salary to 30 million euros ($35.5 million) a year after tax at PSG but the Brazil captain said he was fired up by ambition for more success, not by money.
He said he was motivated by desire for a new challenge and said he wanted to make his debut today.
“I wanted a bigger challenge, and my heart made this decision and I followed my heart,” he told reporters at the Parc des Princes stadium.
“Money was never my motivation,” said the player who is reportedly being paid 45 million euros ($53 million) a year.
“I want to be happy, and I want my family to be happy. I’m really sad to hear that people think this way. If it was just about money, I could have gone somewhere else.
“Being the most expensive player in the world is not a burden. I weigh 69 kg. I don’t have a burden on me.”
Neymar denied that he had tired of playing second-fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
“It’s not that I wanted to be the big star at Barcelona,” he said
“That’s not what I’m looking for here. I’m looking for a new challenge, new trophies, and this is what motivates me.”
Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who introduced the player as “an idol for the whole world”, backed up Neymar’s assertion that he could have gone elsewhere for more money.
PSG fans may only have to wait a few days to see if their new superstar player is worth the money.
“I can play tomorrow (against Amiens). Why not? I’ll speak to the staff, but I really want to play. I haven’t discussed where I will play. I will play where the coach wants me to.”
“I only stopped playing in the last two days and I’m hungry to play football.”