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Neymar: Leaving Barcelona 'one of the toughest' decisions of my life

The forward completed his $263 million move to the French capital Thursday just a week after Barcelona officials had said he was "200%" staying with the Catalan club.

Unveiled to the media Friday, the Brazilian said the decision to join the French club came from the heart and his desire for a bigger challenge.

"My heart told me to sign for PSG and I did it," he told a news conference Friday.

"It was one of the toughest decisions I ever took. I was at a great club at Barcelona, I love Barcelona, have friends at the club, some fantastic players, and it wasn't easy at all.

"I had to think, rethink about what I wanted to do and achieve in my life."

'Not motivated by money'

Neymar also dismissed accusations that the move to PSG was motivated by money.

"What I say to these people is they don't know anything about my personal life, I was never motivated by money," he said.

"What I think about is my happiness and together with my family, I want them to be happy.

"If I was following the money, I would be somewhere else, with other clubs in other countries.

"I'm really sad that people still think that way and I'm glad that PSG believe in me."

Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said Neymar was "an idol for the whole world for football lovers and sports lovers in general."

He added: "For me personally, Neymar is the best player in the world."

Al-Khelaifi also rejected claims the player had only joined PSG for financial reasons.

"Neymar came here for motivation, a project that he believed in," he said. "He can get much more money than we give him, that's for sure.

"If he came for money, he could go to other clubs for even more money."

After joining Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos in 2013, Neymar scored over 100 goals as well as winning the European Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Copa del Rey.

The 25-year-old was part of the world football's most potent attacking triumvirate alongside five-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, and Uruguay star Luis Suarez.

He has also scored 52 goals in 77 appearances for Brazil as well as winning Olympic gold at last year's Rio Games.

Hundreds of PSG fans had lined up to purchase replica team jerseys with Neymar's name on earlier Friday.

The forward, who has signed a five-year deal with the club, will wear the No.10 shirt and could make his PSG debut against Amiens on Saturday.


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