Whilst it has been two years in the making, Brazilian starlet Neymar has finally become a Barcelona player this week and left native club Santos for an undisclosed fee. His new side Barca have been licking their wounds recently after finding themselves caught in the middle of a wave of German footballing dominance but the Catalonian giants will be hoping the 21 year old Samba star can lead their quest to reclaim past glories and take the pressure off the heavily relied upon Leo Messi.
Despite having an impressive scoring record in the Brazilian domestic leagues, La Liga football will be a completely different proposition for Neymar with coaching staff reportedly placing the struggling FC Barca squad on weight loss diets during this summer’s pre season training regime. Neymar however has confessed he is up to the task at his new club and is ready to ‘seize the moment’.
The Brazil international spoke to the press for the first time Tuesday in Rio whilst taking part in an event for a sports shoe and clothing company. He spoke for several minutes about his move to Barcelona and his international career but refused to take questions from a crowd of three hundred-plus reporters.
“It was a tough decision, but I decided together with my family,” he stated. “They helped me out amazingly. It’s a dream come true. I am very happy.
“At the same time, it is sad because I am leaving a team I also love.”
Unfortunately both clubs decided not to release the financial details of the summer’s first high-profile transfer but the fee is rumoured to be around 30 million euros for the youngster according to members of the Brazilian press. Santos had originally filtered offers from rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona themselves before informing Neymar it was his choice regarding where he wanted to play next season.
The youngster then went on to speak about the excitement of becoming team mates with players such as Lionel Messi, but didn’t fail to mention that his short-term focus is the Confederations Cup.
“I am very eager to get there (Barcelona), but now I have to concentrate on the Confederations Cup and lead Brazil to the top,” Neymar said.
With David Villa being rumoured to be heading for the exit door this summer, Barca could have a new-look strike force next season, one that no doubt will send shivers down the spine of top domestic clubs all over Europe and beyond with Messi an Neymar at the helm.