Neymar has completed his world-record €222m (£198m) transfer from Barcelona to Paris St Germain. The Brazilian forward, 25, has met the media at a packed news conference in Paris after the deal was completed.
Asked by Sky Sports what he would say to people who believe the move is motivated by money and a reported €29.6m (£26.8m) annual salary, Neymar insisted it was more about ambition. He said: “What I can say to these people is that they know nothing about personal life. “I was never motivated by money. It was never my first motivation. What I think about is happiness, I want me and my family to be happy. I must follow my heart and not considering the money. If I was following money, I might be in different team in a different country. “I’m sad people would think that way…It’s not because I wasn’t the star at Barcelona or the big star, I felt well in Barcelona. “I want something bigger, a bigger challenge and my heart chose this decision…It’s for the new challenge and trophies and this is what PSG want and they deserve it. This is why I came here. That’s what motivates me. I want to dream bigger,” he added.
The move was completed earlier when Barcelona confirmed they had accepted payment for Neymar’s €222m (£200m) buyout clause. The deal had been blocked on Thursday, when the Spanish league refused to accept the clause, but Neymar has now signed a five-year contract at the Parc des Princes, where the club begin their Ligue 1 campaign against Amiens on Saturday.
His departure from Barcelona, though offset by an emotional farewell on Instagram, has created much bad feeling at the Camp Nou. Spokesman Josep Vives said the club board is “displeased with the decision and displeased by the manners” of Neymar and is refusing to pay a €26m (£23.5m) bonus due as part of his last contract.