Just hours after La Liga refused to accept Neymar's transfer, Barcelona released a statement saying that the Brazilian striker's release clause had been paid. A few hours after that, PSG announced Neymar's signing.
Paris Saint-Germain confirmed the transfer of Neymar on Thursday. The striker signed a five-year deal until 2022 and brought a swift end to a record-breaking and history-making football transfer, the club announced.
"I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe the club has always been one of the most competitive and ambitious," Neymar was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the club's website.
"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," Neymar added.
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi said he had "immense joy and pride" at welcoming Neymar to the club. "His winning mentality, strength of chaacter and sense of leadership have made him into a great player," Al-Khelaifi said.
"Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realizing our greatest dreams," he added.
Earlier in the day, Barcelona said Neymar had paid the 222-million-euro ($262 million) release clause, freeing the 25-year-old from his contract and speeding up the process for him to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.
In a statement released on their website on Thursday, Barcelona said "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 the two parties."
Before that, La Liga had rejected an attempt to pay the fee over concerns that it would breach UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. In the club's statement concering the payment of the release-clause fee, Barcelona also stated the club "will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case."
The 222-million-euro payment smashes the previous world-record transfer of a reported 105 million euros (then $116 million) that Manchester United paid for Juventus' French midfielder Paul Pogba last year.
jh/pfd (AP, AFP)