Brazilian sensation Neymar has confirmed that he will sign for Spanish giants FC Barcelona.
This has perhaps been one of the most talked about transfer saga in recent times. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were interested in landing the Brazilian superstar, who has been earmarked to be the next best thing in football. But Neymar was always interested in joining Barcelona and it was only a matter of when, rather than how.
The 21-year-old has received high praise from Pele, who believes that he will soon become the best footballer on the planet. He joined Brazilian club Santos as a 11-year-old kid back in 2003 and broke into the senior squad six years later. Neymar has scored 136 goals in his 224 appearances for Santos so far and his good performances for the club have already seen him become a permanent member of the Brazilian national team.
He is considered to be Brazil’s biggest hope in the upcoming World Cup at home and a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world will see him gain important experience about European football. Talks between Barcelona and Santos were in progress for a long time, but the Brazilian club has managed to hold on to their prized asset, for almost two seasons, until now. The deal is believed to be worth around $36.12 million, which is much lower than what was initially expected to cross $60 million.
After weeks of speculations, the forward has confirmed that he is about to sign a contract with Barcelona on Monday – via his instagram and twitter account. Barcelona have also confirmed this move in their official website. Neymar, in his announcement has also thanked the fans of Santos for all their support and has stated that he is looking forward to playing against Brasilia, in what will be his last match for the club where has spent the past nine years.
“On Monday I’m signing a contract with Barcelona.
“My family and friends already know about my decision… I want to thank Santos’ fans for these nine incredible years. My feelings for the club and the fans will never change.
“Titles, goals, dribbles, celebrations and the songs the fans created for me will always be in my heart.
“This is a different moment for me, sad (departure) and happy (new challenge). God bless me in my choices.
“I made a point of playing tomorrow’s match in Brasilia. I want the opportunity to enter the pitch once more with the ‘mantle’ (Santos shirt) and hear the fans shout my name.” – Neymar said in his note.
This news will sure to excite fans across the world, who will now have the opportunity to see Messi and Neymar in the same team for the very first time. Although Johan Cruyff believes that the two superstars might struggle to gel together and play as teammates. The legendary Dutchman said –
“I wouldn’t put two captains on the same ship… we have to learn from the past”
FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with Santos for Neymar. The Brazilian player will join FC Barcelona for the next five seasons.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 26, 2013
Only time will tell if Cruyff is right, but as of now, the defenders of La Liga might have just experienced their worst nightmare coming true. It will be interesting to see how Real Madrid respond to this big signing as well.