Brazilian superstar Neymar said he followed his “heart” after sealing his €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona.
The former Barcelona man became the world’s most expensive player after PSG opted to trigger his buyout clause and told reporters at his unveiling on Friday: “My heart told me that it was time to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.”
The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful four-year spell with Barcelona, winning one Champions League title, two La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey as well as one FIFA Club World Cup and one Spanish Super Cup, but he said he was relishing the new challenge.
“I am very, very happy,” he said. “I cannot describe what I am feeling in my heart right now. I am here to help the team to win as many titles as possible. I have come to take on a new challenge and to win titles.
“I have friends in Barcelona; it was not easy to leave. However, football can be like that. It was the most difficult decision of my life to leave Barcelona, but I felt like it was the right moment to leave.
“I have friends here in Paris, and I already feel at home here. I was very happy during four years in Barcelona. I am not sad; I won lots of titles.”
Told that some people think he moved just for the money, Neymar said: “Well, what I can say to these people is that they don’t know anything about my personal life. I was never motivated by money. It was never my first motivation.
“What I think about is my happiness, together with my family. I want us to be happy. I must follow my heart, not considering the money. If I was following the money, I would be somewhere else with different teams in different countries.
“I am really sad to think people think that way. I would like to thank PSG, as they believe in my potential and I want to pay them back.”
He said he does not fear the weight of expectations after PSG broke the world transfer record.
“To be the most expensive player in the world does not concern me or weigh me down,” he said. “I am still the same weight as always, I have nothing on my back.”