Neymar: Leaving Barcelona ‘one of the toughest’ decisions of my life

PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 04:  Neymar salutes the press after he posed with his new jersey after a press conference with Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi on August 4, 2017 in Paris, France.  Neymar signed a 5 year contract for 222 Million Euro.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Neymar speaks to CNN after joining PSG
02:16 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Neymar unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player in the French capital Friday

The Brazilian completed his world record move on Thursday

CNN  — 

Neymar says the decision to leave Barcelona was “one of the toughest” of his life after completing a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain and has insisted his move was not motivated by money.

The forward completed his $263 million transfer to the French capital Thursday, just a week after Barcelona officials had said he was “200%” staying with the Catalan club.

Unveiled to the media Friday, the Brazilian said the decision to join the French club came from his desire for a bigger challenge.

Neymar told CNN Sport: “They’re one of the biggest clubs in the world, I want to be part of the history. I came here to make history and win unprecedented titles.

“My priority is the Champions League and to win everything that I can with Paris but the Champions League is our biggest objective.”

The 25-year-old said he was “sad” that some believed he had moved to earn more money. His five-year contact is reportedly worth approximately $45 million a year before tax, making him the highest-paid player in the history of his sport, but the footballer said the sums associated with him did not make him feel uncomfortable.

“I’m just happy and flattered that they believe in my football and they brought me to a club as big as Paris,” he said.

“I am not a guy who’s motivated by money – but by happiness and challenges.”

Earlier, he had told a news conference: “What I think about is my happiness and together with my family, I want them to be happy.

“If I was following the money, I would be somewhere else, with other clubs in other countries.

“I’m really sad that people still think that way and I’m glad that PSG believe in me

“My heart told me to sign for PSG and I did it.

“It was one of the toughest decisions I ever took. I was at a great club at Barcelona, I love Barcelona, have friends at the club, some fantastic players, and it wasn’t easy at all.

“I had to think, rethink about what I wanted to do and achieve in my life.”

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