To say that the world was shocked at Neymar’s decision to move to PSG this summer would be an understatement. With the deal having the world record price tag of £198 million, a transfer precedent was broken.
This led to similar big money and mind-boggling moves of Dembele and Mbappe too, and virtually threw up the asking prices of nearly every player on the free market.
Experts and fans alike were baffled by the Brazilian’s choice to leave the highly followed La Liga side to the comparatively less exciting Ligue 1. One football legend had a similar view, and he worded it quite strongly.
Eric Cantona spoke about the transfer to Yahoo Sport, saying: “When you are 25 years old and play for Brazil and Barcelona, you wonder a little why he has come to France, to play against Guingamp or Amiens.”
While many would argue that the move, along with Mbappe’s transfer, has put PSG in a formidable position in the Champions League, worthy of Neymar, Cantona had an answer to even that.
“The Champions League? It’s maximum 10 matches in the season. I do not understand why he came to play in France. It’s not my vision of passion and football,” said the Frenchman.
Things haven’t been smooth sailing at the new club either. Despite scoring 11 times in 12 appearances and leading the Qatari-backed club to the top of Ligue 1 as well as their Champions League table, Neymar isn’t getting on all too merrily with his teammates.
Having fought with Cavani over spot-kick duty and antagonized most of his teammates who have been informed to give him preferential treatment, one does wonder whether or not things would have been better at Barcelona.
However, the move is done and dusted, and it appears that he will certainly spend quite a few years in France, and it will be up to him to deliver performances week in and week out that rubbish all doubts that have been placed on him.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.