It’s all quite anti-climactic now, but the Neymar-to-Barca deal is officially done. Official transfer price:$74.5 million.
Monday was a day of preening and paparazzi for the Brazilian star, who was a big target of Real Madrid before landing at the Nou Camp. In Spain, they call what happened Monday a “presentation.” And the 21-year-old striker had a few words.
He talked a bit about money – happiness is more important.
He’s not worried about being the “best” – Neymar has apparently ceded that moniker to new teammate Leo Messi, and wisely so.
He said it was difficult not to cry as he first entered Barca’s famous ground. “My dream has come true,” he told the crowd and cameras.
The price is a record for Barcelona, which had handed Inter Milan $64 million plus Samuel Eto’o for Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in 2009 (the previous high mark).
What Neymar could not approach was any of the real transfer price whoppers. (Or should we say the “Real” transfer price whoppers, with a capital R?) Zinedine Zidane cost Real Madrid $80 million back in 2001. Eight years later, Madrid went just north of that amoung for Kaka.
But in that same year, Madrid forked over $122 million to Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo.
There’s more on Neymar’s arrival from his new teammates here.