Neymar motivated by 'a bigger challenge' not money in move to PSG
Neymar, the world's most expensive footballer, said on Friday money was never the motivating factor in his record €222 million (Dh965.7m) transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian forward told a news conference on his arrival in the French capital that he was motivated by desire for a new challenge and said he wanted to make his debut on Saturday.
"I wanted a bigger challenge, and my heart made this decision and I followed my heart," he said at the Parc des Princes stadium. "Money was never my motivation," said the player who is reportedly being paid €45m a year.
"I want to be happy, and I want my family to be happy. I’m really sad to hear that people think this way. If it was just about money, I could have gone somewhere else. Being the most expensive player in the world is not a burden. I weigh 69kg. I don’t have a burden on me."
Neymar denied that he had tired of playing second-fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
"It’s not that I wanted to be the big star at Barcelona," he said. "That’s not what I’m looking for here. I’m looking for a new challenge, new trophies, and this is what motivates me."
PSG fans may only have to wait a few days to see if their new superstar player is worth the money.
"I can play tomorrow (against Amiens). Why not? I’ll speak to the staff, but I really want to play," Neymar said. "I haven’t discussed where I will play. I will play where the coach wants me to."
"I only stopped playing in the last two days and I’m hungry to play football."