THE football world has been buzzing for the past couple weeks about Neymar Jr and his move to Paris Saint-Germain(PSG). For weeks media sources gave conflicting information. Neymar Jr was definitely staying at Barcelona today and by tomorrow the media would have you convinced that he was en route to Paris and that his transfer was a done deal. When his Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi posted a farewell post on Instagram it was basically certain that he was leaving Barcelona.
Yesterday, after the payments were made and all the details were ironed out, PSG announced Neymar Jr as their newest signing. Neymar Jr has therefore become the most expensive footballer ever as PSG activated his buyout clause of €222 million. He signed a five-year contract and is expected to earn £515,000-a-week wages after tax according to some sources.
Being noted as an expensive player assigns the footballer tons of expectations and responsibility.
Being known as the most expensive footballer assigns the player all of the expectations and responsibility ten fold. Last summer it was Paul Pogba that was in the spotlight as he was the most expensive player.
All eyes were on him the whole Premier League season and he has been subjected to harsh criticism. His haphazard displays of brilliance did not cut it for his critics and they have ruled that he did not live up to his hefty price tag. Gareth Bale was subjected to similar criticism at some point as well. The question that is still lingering is "Can Neymar Jr Live Up to Being The Most Expensive Footballer Ever?".
My verdict is that only time could tell but I think he can join the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo as being an expensive player but worth every penny. Neymar Jr was proven that he can withstand pressure, think back to the Olympics 2016. He was proven that he is a good goal scorer and great with assisting, check his stats at Barcelona and Brazil.
Neymar Jr had been criticised, particularly by Barcelona fans for wanting to leave the club. They think he is a traitor and are angry with him. The truth is that he cannot reach his full potential playing under Messi.
A good footballer would be content with Neymar's role, being part of a great attacking trio and racking up trophies every year, but a great footballer would want to see just how much they can do on their own and if they can withstand more challenges. He has won all the trophies at Barcelona and it is time to overcome new challenges and to see what is out there.
In addition to that, Neymar Jr does not get the credit he deserves from Barcelona. The uproar about him leaving is the most I've seen Barcelona fans speak about him. I remember Neymar Jr scoring a hat-trick and Messi's name still made the headlines. He is simply overshadowed. This is understandable and it is also understandable why he would want to go somewhere where he is the "number 10" and the "main man". Neymar is in a position to join the greatest to ever play the game.
I was a bit surprised that he did not opt for a Premier League team since the French league has not won the respect of pundits and rightly so. However, I'm beginning to see what might have been going through his head. PSG is hungry for a Champions League trophy. They have been trying year after year and has been failing. Neymar, on the other hand, has tasted Champions League glory.
If Neymar can lead the team to a Champions League, it will be historic and he will certainly be nominated for the Ballon d'Or again. While he may not win it right now with Messi and Ronaldo, not looking to remove their hands from it, he will eventually.In addition to that, 2018 is a World Cup year, if he can shine on this stage as well no one can stop this man. Neymar Jr is coming from a long line of Brazilians who have dominated both at the international and club levels and have copped the Ballon d'Or, I have no doubt that he wants to join the best of the best.
I think Barcelona may miss Neymar more than he will miss them. Overall, I'm excited about the PSG move and I can't wait to see what he will do.