Neymar says he joined PSG for 'bigger challenge'
Brazilian superstar Neymar said he came to Paris Saint-Germain from Spanish giants Barcelona for a "bigger challenge" in his first public comments since arriving in the French capital on Friday.
The 25-year-old, who signed the biggest transfer deal in world history to join PSG from Barcelona for 222 million euros (264m), said it had been a tough call.
"It was one of the toughest decisions of my life," he told a press conference at PSG's Parc des Princes headquarters. "I wanted a new challenge. I wanted something bigger. To do my best. And to do even better."
Neymar's wages will reportedly triple to 30 million euros a year after tax at PSG but the Brazil captain said he was fired up by ambition for more success, not by money.
And PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said Neymar shared the club's hunger for titles and trophies rather than financial rewards.
"He did not come here for the money. If he was motivated by money he could have got more somewhere else," he said.
Neymar has signed a five-year deal with the fee -- which corresponded to the player's buyout clause at Barcelona -- more than double the previous world record transfer.
Manchester United held the previous record when they bought Paul Pogba from Juventus last year for 105 million euros.
Neymar won the Champions League in 2015 with Barcelona and collected two Spanish league titles and three Copas del Rey in his four seasons at the Camp Nou.
He has scored 52 goals in 77 appearances for his country.
Neymar also admitted that he chose to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain against the advice of his father. "A sportsman needs challenges. And for the second time in my life, I am going against the advice of my Dad," the Brazilian wrote in a long post in Spanish on his Instagram account on Thursday night.
"Dad, I understand and respect your opinion, but my decision is taken, I ask that you support me as you always have done," he added.
Neymar added that his family "has suffered a lot with problems that have occurred in this period of my career and deserve peace. It is a difficult decision, but one taken with the maturity of my 25 years." The player's assurances could be seen as a way of hitting back at critics furious at his departure from Barcelona. Catalan sports daily Sport on day described the player's entourage as "toxic", blaming them for Neymar's departure.
Sport wrote of "the fatal intersection of two diabolical factors: the money of Qatar (which owns PSG via QSI, their sovereign wealth fund) and the monetary and sporting ambition of the Neymars." Neymar's father is extremely close to his son, supervising his career and the negotiation of his contracts.