Brazilian Soccer Star Neymar Shatters World Record With $262 Million Move From Barcelona - NECN

Brazilian Soccer Star Neymar Shatters World Record With $262 Million Move From Barcelona

The amount Neymar paid more than doubles the previous record transfer

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    Brazilian Soccer Star Neymar Shatters World Record With $262 Million Move From Barcelona
    AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File
    This May 27, 2017, file photo shows Barcelona's Neymar celebrate after scoring a goal during the Copa del Rey final soccer match between Barcelona and Alaves at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. Neymar paid 222 million euro to buy out his contract at Barcelona on August 3, clearing the way for a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

    Brazil star Neymar has cleared the way for him to join Paris Saint-Germain by paying a 222 million euro ($262 million) buyout clause Thursday that frees him from his contract with Barcelona.

    There was no immediate confirmation of a transfer by PSG. But Neymar's representative Wagner Ribeiro had already said on Wednesday that PSG was willing to pay the clause.

    Barcelona said in a statement that "Neymar Jr's legal representatives visited in person the club's offices and made the payment of 222 million euros in the player's name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties."

    The payment of the clause shatters the previous world record transfer of 105 million euros (then $116 million) that Manchester United paid for France midfielder Paul Pogba last year.

    Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

    Barcelona also said that "the club will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case."

    The comment follows a claim by Spanish league president Javier Tebas on Wednesday that Neymar's move would break Financial Fair Play rules introduced by UEFA, European soccer's ruling body.

    Barcelona did all it could to stop Neymar from leaving, and had vowed to complain to UEFA if his seemingly untouchable release clause was triggered.

    The payment of the clause directly to the club was the second attempt Neymar's representatives had made on Thursday to break his bond with Barcelona.

    Earlier in the day, his lawyer Juan de Dios Crespo had tried to deposit the enormous sum at the Spanish league's offices in Madrid, but he was turned away.

    Tebas had told Spanish sports daily AS that he wouldn't let the league act as an intermediary to an operation that he, like Barcelona, believed violated UEFA's FFP rules. He had called PSG a "state-supported club." The club's Qatari owners are closely linked to the energy-rich ruling family.

    Neymar ended weeks of silence by telling Barcelona's executives, players and coach on Wednesday that his intention was to leave the club after four seasons.

    Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives responded that the club would not negotiate and would demand the full payment of the clause. Last year, Neymar signed a new contract with Barcelona that tied him to the Catalan club through 2021.

    In France, Neymar's move was seen as a done deal on Thursday.

    Having met PSG president Nasser Al-Khalaifi at a charity event, French President Emmanuel Macron took the opportunity to give him "congratulations, I understand there's been some good news."

    France's budget minister also had reason to celebrate. Gerald Darmanin told France-Inter radio "It's better that this football player pays his taxes in France than elsewhere."

    However, Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas launched a barb at his big-spending rival in a message posted on Twitter: "Congrats to Nasser for the realization of this worldwide unique operation: I'm impatient to know about the real costs of the operation."

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    At 25 years old, Neymar is already one of soccer's top talents.

    Neymar scored 105 goals playing alongside Lionel Messi and was a key playmaker for Barcelona as it won a Champions League, two Spanish leagues, three Copa del Reys, one Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups.

    The expectation at PSG will be for him to lead it to elusive Champions League success.