Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos Sr., has admitted he urged his son to stay at Barcelona ahead of his big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain, however the Brazil international was adamant he wanted to leave the Camp Nou.
In the first time the 25-year-old’s parent, and agent, has spoken out surrounding the most-expensive transfer in history, he admitted the only stumbling block in the deal going through was himself.
The Sao Paulo-born striker made the European giant switch from Catalunya to Paris during the summer for a whopping €222m, and it is reported that his dad pocketed €22m as part of the deal.
However, even though Neymar Sr. earned a pretty penny from the high-profile transfer, he admitted he told his son to remain a Barcelona player.
“I was the one who hesitated until the last moment”, he told French TV show Telefoot, as cited by Goal.com.
“I told him that the best choice was to stay but he wanted to take a risk. It was difficult, but Neymar wanted this challenge and we supported him.
“We were all proud when he was presented at PSG. To see Neymar projected onto the Eiffel Tower was incredible. He loves everything here.”
It is believed that Neymar was keen for the move in order to release himself from the shadows of other Barcelona stars, including Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, and put himself in the position to claim his first Ballon d’Or.
However, Neymar Sr. insists that his move was not made with personal gain in mind, but to enhance PSG’s chances of lifting the Champions League.
“To help Paris win the Champions League motivated him”, the Brazilian said.
“If Neymar should win the Ballon d’Or, he will, but I don’t think that he really wants it. If he wanted that he could have remained at Barcelona.
“We signed a five-year contract, so we have five years to win the Champions League with PSG.”
Paris have made an excellent start in their attempts to capture their first European elite trophy, currently sitting top of Group B after a 3-0 demolition of Bayern Munich in matchweek two, and are tipped as serious contenders for this year’s competition.