For months soccer fans all over the world have been debating the imminent move of Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr from Spanish team FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain – but few realised quite how much the French team was willing to pay for the sought after forward.
It has been confirmed today that the 25-year-old player has been bought for a staggering €222 million (£198,757,000; $262,821,000), officially activating his release clause from Barcelona and smashing the record for Most expensive football player (soccer player), single transfer.
This is the biggest percentage increase on the most expensive footballer record since 1932 when Bernabe Ferrerya joined River Plate for £23,000 surpassing the £10,890 paid by Arsenal for David Jack in 1928.
Paris Saint-Germain could have bought the equivalent of two Paul Pogba for the same price.
Pogba held the previous record at €105 million (£89.1 million; $116.4 million), which Manchester United paid Juventus for the French midfielder on 9 August last year.
$222 million is almost an unimaginable amount of money. The BBC puts it into perspective: For the equivalent of one Neymar you could buy three Boeing 737-700 passenger planes, 797 million Freddo chocolate bars, or enough spaghetti to cover the whole of Barcelona.
As well as the single transfer record, Neymar has achieved the Most expensive football player (soccer player), combined transfer fees title too.
Neymar transferred from Brazilian team Santos to FC Barcelona back in June 2013, a deal later revealed to be worth a total of €86.2 million (£73,685,500; $112,121,000). This, added to his most recent €222 million transfer fee, means he has combined transfer fees of €308.2 million (£275,931,000; $364,872,000).
Prior to this, the record was held by Argentina’s Ángel Di María, who had four transfers adding to a combined total of £132.6 m ($197.53 m).
Neymar’s record more than doubles Ángel’s total, and he’s had half as many transfers.
These record transfer fees aren’t Neymar’s first Guinness World Records titles.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics the forward netted the record for Fastest goal in an Olympic football match (male) – no doubt, one of the many achievements that has made the footballer worth such a high price.
In the semi-final between Brazil and Honduras, the host nation’s star striker managed to steal possession and score within just 14 seconds of kick off.
There have been speculation that that Neymar has been unsatisfied playing in the shadow of fellow football superstar Lionel Messi.
However, explaining his reason behind the move from Barcelona in his own words, Neymar said:
“Paris St-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new team-mates.”
Will the fee be worth it for Paris Saint-Germain, and will Neymar be able to handle the immense pressure his record and media attention will inevitably create?
All eyes will be on Neymar as Paris Saint-Germain face Amiens at Parc des Princes on Saturday.