56,500 fans show up for Neymar's unveiling | inside World Soccer

56,500 fans show up for Neymar's unveiling

[Tuesday, June 04, 2013 ]

New Barcelona signing Neymar was introduced in front of 56,500 fans at the Camp Nou on Monday.

Neymar holds his new Barcelona jersey with the club's directors during his presentation
Neymar holds his new Barcelona jersey with the club's directors during his presentation

Photo: Getty Images

The Brazilian forward flew straight to Barcelona on a specially chartered private jet after his country's friendly with England on Sunday evening.

After arriving in Catalonia on Monday afternoon, hundreds of photographers were waiting to take his picture as he posed in front of the club's emblem.

The 21-year-old then passed a two-part medical examination and signed his five-year contract in the club's offices.

He was later appeared on the Camp Nou pitch to the delight of the supporters with the Barcelona anthem being played in the background.

"I'm very happy to be here. This has always been my dream, both when I was a child and now that I'm an adult," Neymar told reporters.

"I'm very emotional to have the chance to play alongside players who I have admired since I was a kid, like (Lionel) Messi, Xavi and (Andrés) Iniesta.

"Today is the start of a new chapter in my life. I'm going to have a lot of happy times and victories.

"It was very emotional to go onto the pitch at the Camp Nou, the way the fans applauded me, I had to hold back the tears.

"I am living a dream, not a dream of Neymar the grown-up, but a dream of Neymar the child. I want my name to go into Barça's history."

Neymar enters the Camp Nou pitch after being announced as the newest member of Barcelona
Neymar enters the Camp Nou pitch after being announced as the newest member of Barcelona

Photo: Getty Images

He then added that he wanted to play alongside Messi and help him become an even bigger and better footballer.

The ex-Santos ace said: "I've never worried about being the best in the world because the best is here in Lionel Messi.

"I'm one of the luckiest men around to be able to play alongside him, and hopefully help him remain the best player in the world."

Neymar was also quizzed on his decision to chose Barcelona over arch-rivals Real Madrid.

"I'm happy both of them wanted me, but I was led by my heart," he explained. "This means that I was convinced and happy to sign for Barça.

"It was a family decision. I always speak with my father, with my mother and with my whole family.

"We have received offers of more money, but it is not just a question of money."

Barcelona vice-president Josep María Bartomeu also revealed the total cost of the transfer was €57 million with a minimum release fee of €190 million, which is only "slightly" less than that of Messi's €250 million clause.

He said: "He cost us €57 million and will have a €190 million buy-out clause.

"Right from the start he said that he wanted to join Barça. Thanks to that, the initial fee of €40 million only increased to €57 million."


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