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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

PSG a 'bold, new way forward' as Neymar plans to 'conquer all titles' after world record move

Brazil forward Neymar is targeting Uefa Champions League success with Paris Saint-Germain after completing a world-record transfer to the ambitious French club.

On Thursday Neymar, whose release from Barcelona was secured for €222million (Dh968.9m) by his legal team, signed a five-year deal with PSG.

Owned by Qatar Sports Investments, the Parisians' principal target remains winning the Champions League, a competition in which they have consistently failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals.

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Neymar, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2015, has now committed to the challenge of landing Europe's top club prize with PSG.

"I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain," Neymar, 25, told the club's official website. "Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.

"PSG's ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I have played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world."

Neymar indicated his desire to depart Barcelona, for whom he scored more than 100 goals, on Wednesday.

He revealed his father, Neymar Santos Sr, had wanted him to stay in Catalonia, but the lure of a new challenge was too strong.

On his official Facebook page, he wrote: "For the second time in my life, I'm going to be opposing my dad. Dad, I understand and respect your opinion, but my decision is made, I ask you to support me as you always have. Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need new challenges."

At the Camp Nou, Neymar formed the fabled 'MSN' strike partnership along with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that delivered a treble of league, cup and Champions League in the 2014/15 season.

"Lionel Messi became my teammate, and my friend on and off the pitch," Neymar wrote. "I am proud to have played with you. We formed an attack with Luis Suarez that will endure forever.

"I achieved everything a sportsperson can achieve. I played with these guys in video games. I lived unforgettable moments in a city that is more than a city - it's a homeland.

"Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need a new challenge. PSG offered a bold new way forward and I'm ready. Right now I feel in my heart that it's time to go."

The Sao Paulo-born striker will meet the press in Paris on Friday, at 1.30pm local time (3.30pm UAE), before being formally presented on the Parc des Princes pitch two hours later.

It has been widely reported that Neymar will earn €30m net per year at PSG after tax.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have passed the details of the deal to Uefa. The fee obliterates the previous record of €105m that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.

The Catalan club are keen for the governing body to "determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case" with issues of Financial Fair Play and adherence to European transfer rules in mind.

* Press Association