Neymar Coming to Barcelona
It's been on the cards for a while, but it seems Neymar da Silva Santos Junior will finally be leaving his native Brazil and current club Santos and joining the footballing superstars of FC Barcelona here in Catalonia. It's certainly an exciting prospect.
The 21 year old is already considered in the same league talent-wise as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and with his pace, close-control and eye for the spectacular there are many in Brazil who feel he can outstrip both to become the world's greatest player. With 138 goals for Santos in 229 appearances, dating back to his debut as a 17 year old in 2009, and 20 goals already in 32 appearances for the Brazilian national team there's certainly plenty of evidence to go with the excitement.
Financial details of the five year deal have been kept closely under wraps but it is thought the entire package, including fee, agent's fee and wages will cost Barcelona in the region of 100 million euros. Not that Sandro Rossell seemed to mind too much. He has been chasing the Brazilian for sometime and will be delighted to have wrapped up the deal, with Real Madrid also lurking. The club's official statement read:
"FC Barcelona and Santos have agreed terms for Neymar. The 21-year old is one of the most promising footballers on the planet."
Whilst most Barca fans are salivating at the prospect of Neymar and Messi playing side by side next year - and hopefully restoring some of their Euro credibility after a humiliating 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League - not everyone is so impressed with the deal. Club legend Johann Cruyff recently stated: "Messi and Neymar? Two captains on one boat doesn't work."
But respected though he is, Cruyff seems to be in the minority.
For those who can't wait until August here's a Youtube preview of some of the striker's best ever goals.