Neymar, the world's most expensive footballer, has said money was never the motivating factor in his record 222 million-euro ($264 million) transfer from Barcelona to Paris St Germain. The Brazilian forward was unveiled at his new club, whose Qatari-owners defended the price tag. Ivor Bennett reports
Somewhere in there is the world's most expensive footballer. TV crews did their best to stall Neymar's departure from Barcelona airport, but like his old club, they too had to let him leave. The reception in Paris was more civilised. But the spotlight just as intense. SOUNDBITE (PORTUGUESE) NEYMAR, PARIS ST GERMAIN, SAYING: "The fact I'm the most expensive player? No it's not a burden. I'm 69 kilos, I don't have a burden on my back. I'm happy and that's the most important thing. It's not a burden." 222 million euros is how much it cost Paris Saint Germain to bring Neymar to France. A fee more than double the previous record. But the club's Qatari owners say it's money well spent. An investment both on and off the pitch. SOUNDBITE (English) NASSER AL-KHELAIFI, CHAIRMAN, PARIS ST GERMAIN, SAYING: "When we look at Neymar as a brand with Paris Saint German, I don't think it's expensive you know because I'm sure we're going to make more money than what we paid." According to Forbes, Neymar earned 22 million dollars through endorsements last year Deals with Nike, Gillette and Panasonic helping to make him the 18th highest paid sports star in the world. SOUNDBITE (English) JANE FOLEY, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, SAYING: "From a pure business perspective certainly if they do own those image rights I think there is this this this view that they will be able to recoup these sorts of money." And they're not the only ones hoping to cash in. The French minister of public accounts said the taxman was delighted After local media estimated Neymar's salary - believed to be 550,000 euros a week - would net the state 37.5 million euros a year in tax. Not everyone's happy of course. The Spanish league has accused PSG of financial doping and say they'll complain to regulators. As for the man himself, well he insists the move was not about money. Easy to say when you're paid nearly a euro every second.