With a record-breaking deposit of US$260 million, Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. has left FC Barcelona to play for Paris St-Germain.
League officials confirmed that they received the payment Thursday for the player's release clause. His name and picture have already disappeared from FC Barcelona's official website.
“On Thursday afternoon, 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 statement read.
This was only after La Liga officials first refused to accept the payment releasing the 24-year-old forward from his contract. Neymar’s lawyers, Juan de Dios Crespo and Marcos Motta, arrived at the league’s Madrid headquarters, only to be turned away by its president, Javier Tebas, following through on his threat from earlier this week.
Professional Football League officials called on their Spanish counterparts to honor FIFA’s guidelines, demanding the matter be resolved “as soon as possible.”
Despite Tebas’ belief that the trade would violate financial fair play rules in the Spanish clubs, the trade went through Thursday afternoon.
However, the payment for Neymar’s transfer may not be the end. FC Barcelona later stated that they "will pass on to UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case."
News of Neymar’s departure to the Parisian league was met with mixed responses from his former teammates.
Portuguese soccer player Ronaldo has reportedly told Neymar that although he understands the young player’s desire to "escape from Lionel Messi’s shadow," he believes the transfer is a "mistake."
His mentor and friend Lionel Messi posted a farewell message on Instagram congratulating his teammate.
“My friend I wish you the best in everything that comes!!! Also thank you for your support, for everything that I learned with you and for the unique moments that we spent together!!!! Stay like this and never change. Love you, little bro.”
The change from FC Barcelona to Paris St-Germain will afford the forward with a pay rise of up to US$700,000 weekly after taxes.