“Thank you! I’m very happy, I’m delighted to be here for this new challenge,” said Neymar as fireworks went off around him and fans chanted his name over and again.The world’s most expensive footballer: 20 years of record transfers © AFP / Thomas SAINT-CRICQ“I want to win lots of trophies with you and I need your support to win these trophies,” added the former Barcelona and Santos star.“Paris is magic!” he said in French before calling out the club’s motto: “Ici, c’est Paris!” — Here, it’s Paris.Hopes the Brazil captain would make his debut for the club were dashed by red tape as his international transfer certificate wasn’t lodged in time with the French league, meaning he had to watch his new team-mates from the stands.He was hardly missed as PSG strolled to an easy victory with goals from South American pair Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore, the latter whose place in the team could come under threat by Neymar.PSG had already started to recuperate part of Neymar’s mammoth transfer fee on Friday when he was officially unveiled as the most expensive player in history at 222 million euros ($264m).New Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar waves during his presentation to fans at the Parc des Princes stadium on August 5, 2017 © AFP / ALAIN JOCARDThe club sold more than 10,000 shirts with his name and No.10 on the back on Friday, bringing in around one million euros.They also expected to sell another 15,000 shirts on Saturday while a 45,000 sell-out crowd watched the opening game.And money was the subject of most of the questions fired at the Brazilian when he was unveiled to the media on Friday after arriving in the French capital on a private jet to sign a five-year contract with the Qatari-owned club.“I want something bigger, a greater challenge,” said Neymar, who is poised to earn around 30 million euros a year.– ‘Tense time’ –Neymar admitted that leaving Barcelona, where he formed part of a lethal attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, was not a decision he took lightly.A Paris Saint-Germain fan shows off his Neymar shirt at the club’s store on the Champs Elysees © AFP / PHILIPPE LOPEZ“It was one of my most difficult decisions. In Barcelona I had adapted well to the city and the team,” he said.“It was a tense time, thinking about what I should do in my life.” His PSG teammate Dani Alves, who once played with Neymar at Barcelona, said the new arrival had persuaded him to move to Paris from Juventus this summer.“Contrary to what people think, it was he who advised me to sign for PSG,” said Alves after Saturday’s game. “It wasn’t me who was telling him to come here.”Neymar will become the second highest-paid player in the world — behind Carlos Tevez and his 38 million euros a year at Shanghai Shenhua but ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s 23.6 million euros annual salary at Real Madrid.The transfer fee shattered the previous world record of 105 million euros set by Manchester United in signing France midfielder Paul Pogba last year from Juventus.It is an eye-watering sum, but one that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insisted will eventually look like a bargain.“There are not two Neymars in the world. I would love for us to meet in two years and see what his value will be compared to today. At least double,” said Al-Khelaifi.Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Neymar (R), listens to his father Neymar Santos (L) as they watch the French L1 football match between PSG and Amiens at the Parc de Princes Stadium in Paris on August 5, 2017 © AFP / JACQUES DEMARTHON“I don’t think it’s expensive, I’m convinced we are going to earn more money with him. It’s a project of two brands: we’re associating the Neymar brand and the PSG brand.”There is scepticism at the role played by PSG’s owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) at a time of political crisis for the energy-rich state which has been boycotted by its Gulf neighbours in recent months and will play host to the World Cup in 2022.But on Saturday, Al-Khelaifi was focused more on success on the pitch as he hopes Neymar will help PSG win back the Ligue 1 crown they lost to Monaco last year, and finally land the coveted Champions League.“We have a great star, a great player here with us today,” he said.“Now we’re going to work hard to win lots of trophies.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Neymar looks on during his presentation to the fans at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 5, 2017 © AFP / ALAIN JOCARDParis, France, Aug 4 – Brazil superstar Neymar received a hero’s welcome from the Paris Saint-Germain faithful on Saturday as he vowed to win “lots of trophies” following his world record transfer.The 25-year-old was presented to fans at the club’s Parc des Princes stadium ahead of a 2-0 victory over Amiens in their opening Ligue 1 match of the new campaign.
0Shares0000Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Marcelo could not stop Eibar© AFP ANDER GILLENEAEIBAR, Spain, Nov 25 – Santiago Solari proved the perfect caretaker but his debut as permanent coach of Real Madrid on Saturday ended in a disastrous 3-0 defeat at Eibar. Four wins while in temporary charge earned Solari a contract until 2021 over the international break, only for Real to revert to the kind of chaotic display that cost his predecessor, Julen Lopetegui, his job. The defeat also brought into focus the mindset of Madrid’s players, after their captain Sergio Ramos faced allegations of an anti-doping violation on Friday night from German magazine Der Spiegel. The club denied any breach.Eibar were stronger, more aggressive and, worryingly for Solari, appeared clearer about the plan they wanted to carry out. Marc Cucurella, brilliant down the left, teed up all three goals, scored by Gonzalo Escalante, Sergi Enrich and Kike Garcia.Real’s loss halts their revival under Solari and cost them a golden opportunity to make up ground on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, before the pair face each other at the Wanda Metropolitano later on Saturday.Eibar shoot up to seventh, a reward for their first ever victory over Real Madrid at the 11th attempt.Ramos was not noticeably below par at Ipurua, but perhaps allegations that he failed to list the correct medication after the Champions League final in 2017, proved enough of a distraction for his teammates.Solari, meanwhile, must now reset his team ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Roma, which is likely to decide the winner of Group G.Real started well enough and Gareth Bale looked in the mood when he swivelled and sent a stunning shot into the top corner from 25 yards, only to be ruled offside.Karim Benzema went close, his finish cleared off the line by Jose Cote, but after surviving the early pressure, Eibar grew in confidence.Kike made the woodwork shake with a drive from 25 yards, with replays showing the dipping shot had been diverted by an excellent finger-tip save from Thibaut Courtois.Madrid’s goalkeeper came to their rescue again in the 16th minute, denying Enrich from Cucurella’s cross, but this time Escalante was on hand to bundle in the rebound ahead of the stumbling Dani Ceballos.Referee Juan Martinez consulted the video assistant referee but the delay only earned a repeat of home fans’ cheers.Bale’s free-kick was pushed wide and then he was booked for dissent as Madrid looked to be running out of ideas. Solari gave his first half-time team talk with his team behind, but their situation deteriorated in the second half.Toni Kroos’ misjudged and misdirected crossfield pass exposed the unfortunate recipient Alvaro Odriozola. Cucurella pounced, pushing Odriozola off the ball and delivering for Enrich to score.Odriozola was forced off injuredFive minutes later it was three, this time Raphael Varane was at fault, allowing Kike to nip in and convert another whipped Cucurella cross.Madrid had more than half an hour to respond but it was Eibar who looked more likely. Fabian Orellana nutmegged Ceballos and drew a smart save from Courtois, before Charles Dias flicked an audacious volley, again blocked by the Belgian. By the end, Madrid were thankful it was only three.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)