27 May 2013

Barca get Neymar for 50 million euros

10:02 am on 27 May 2013

After a transfer saga lasting 18 months, Barcelona have finally landed Brazilian football international Neymar from Santos on a five-year deal that is expected to cost the Catalan club around 50 million euros, or almost $80 million.

The 21-year-old was always expected to come to Barca when he eventually left his homeland, but rather than wait until his contract expired with the Brazilian club next year, the Spanish champions have sped up the operation as they try to rejuvenate a tired squad that suffered the club's worst ever defeat in European competition this season.

Barca were hammered 7-0 by eventual Champions League winners Bayern Munich in this year's semi-finals.

Even at his tender age, Neymar has already shown glimpses of his brilliance on the big stage with 20 goals in 32 international appearances, whilst his incredible return of 156 goals in 256 games for Santos at such a young age has seem him inevitably compared to Pele.

However, it is the potential to combine with another of the all-time greats that Barca are interested in as they look for someone to ease the goalscoring and creative burden on Argentine wizard Lionel Messi.

Barca's reliance on Messi was particularly exposed in this season's Champions League when the Argentine was called into action whilst clearly carrying a hamstring injury to get them across the line against Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals.