It’s very likely that as a regular Joe, your relationship with football does not go beyond your knowledge that your national team is called Super Eagles, the names of some big league clubs and that Ronaldo is King.
So this whole noise about Neymar has left you completely bewildered. Who is he? Why does the President of France care about him? And why on God’s earth is he worth so much? Don’t worry, we know how confusing it gets and we’ve prepared a quick guide to understanding this year’s hottest football transfer and the most expensive one yet.
Let’s start with who Neymar is…
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is a professional footballer from Brazil. Another famous Brazilian footballer you’ll recall is Ronaldinho – who is a known fan of Neymar. Neymar started playing professionally in his home country in 2009 at age 17. He joined the Brazilian national team a year later. He did this till he was about 20 and during that period, he helped his club, Santos FC win two Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores, and won himself the South American Fooltballer of the Year twice in the process.
Neymar is most known for his remarkable ability to play with both feet, his dribbling and finishing and was once named the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro. He’s also famous for being a hybrid between winger and striker.
He only 25 – younger than both Ronaldo and Messi, and has managed to he’s managed to get himself only 25 goals shy of Brazil’s all-time record. Internationally, he’s scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barcelona, the team he’s being transferred from.
Okay so what’s fuss over this transfer?
Since joining Spanish club, Barcelona in May 2013, Neymar has not only scored 105, he’s also won 2 Spanish La Ligas, 3 Copa del Reys and a Champions League. When he was unveiled by Barca in June 2013, it was confirmed that Neymar would play with the club under a five-year contract. So his contract with Barcelona was to end on 3rd June 2018.
According to Barca’s Vice President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Neymar’s transfer fee was €57.1 million and his release clause set at €190 million. Two months in, he scored his first competitive goal for the club during a match against Atlético Madrid – he was only playing as a substitute but it earned him his first trophy at the club. A month later, he made his UEFA Championship debut, while assisting Gerard Pique to score a goal. Barça won that game too.
Fast forward 4 years after, Neymar has become one of the most renowned football players of his league and despite having the mumps which almost kept him off the two leagues in 2015, Neymar has enjoyed a beautiful career with sponsorships from Nike and VolksWagen. He also had a US$2.4 million deal with electronics giant, Panasonic for two years.
In January 2014, the prosecutor’s office in Madrid began investigating Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona. The documents submitted to the authorities on request contained contradictory information. The club later revealed that the transfer had actually cost them €86.2 million, not the €57.1 million declared in 2013 with Neymar’s parents confirmed to have received a €40 million of the sum. Barcelona and Bartomeu were then charged with tax fraud.
Another ditch in his ride with Barcelona has been Messi, who continues to soar in his career even though he’s 5 years older than Neymar. Messi’s legend has managed to make Neymar only second best despite his efforts.
Neymar, having denied that his expensive move to PSG was motivated by money leave one with no choice than to believe the above analysis. Although the money is what a lot of people are betting on.
Last week, Barcelona announced that Neymar’s legal representatives made a payment of €222 million to the club, equal to the release clause of his contract – having renewed his deal with Barça last year, his release clause went up from 190. And that’s only the release clause fee. PSG had tried to poach Neymar last year but he renewed his contract with the Spanish club yet, it was his team that reached out to PSG this year to let them know he was leaving Barça.
After over a month of rumours and secret talks, the Paris club and Neymar concluded the most expensive transfer of of our time. Pini Zahavi, Neymar’s Israeli agent negotiated, PSG’s lawyers, Nataf Fajgenbaum & Associés, drafted the contract and Neymar now earns €30m net per season under a fiver year deal that ends in 2022 and the rest is history.
Oh! Neymar was offered the number 10 jersey by Javier Pastore as a “welcome gift” and out of Messi’s shadow, he’s now a proper contender for the Ballon d’Or.