Neymar commits his future to Barcelona
Neymar has signed a new five-year deal with Spanish champions FC Barcelona. The contract will keep the forward at the Catalan club until 2021. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be interested in the forward but their interest will be deterred by this new contract. However, should the 24-year-old want to leave before 2021, any potential suitors would have to activate his release clause that could be as high as £210 million. In the first year of his contract, Barcelona have set his release clause at £167 million (€200m). This figure is then set to rise in the second year of the contract to £186 million (€222m). Finally, in the last three years the fee will be as high as £210 million (€250m).
This new contract means that the Brazilian has the second most expensive release clause, according to ‘The Sportster’. With Neymar just ahead of club team-mate Lionel Messi who is believed to have a release clause of just under €250m. However, it is Cristiano Ronaldo, whose release clause is the biggest, with his agent Jorge Mendes claiming it is a high as £1 billion.
Neymar’s first three year’s at Barcelona
The 24-year-old was signed by Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 for a disputed fee. The Catalan club originally claimed they paid €57.1 million for the forward. However, after legal proceedings it was found that the fee was most likely closer to €96.6 million.
His first season was difficult, as the club went trophy-less. Despite this, he still scored 15 goals for the club. The next season, the 24-year-old began to really live up to his potential as he scored 39 goals in 51 appearances.
The forward was undoubtedly boosted by the addition of Luis Suárez – which completed the very dangerous attack trio, also including Lionel Messi. The trio goals helped Barcelona win five trophies in just over six months in 2015, including the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey. The 24-year-old again showcased his wide repertoire of skills as he scored 31 goals in 49 games – as Barcelona retained their La Liga and Copa Del Rey titles.
Neymar has also impressed on the international stage. The forward has scored 46 goals in 70 games for Brazil. This tally puts him at fifth in Brazil’s all time goalscorers, two behind fourth-placed Zico. However, he is still 31 goals behind the legendary Pelé.
He missed their disappointing Copa América campaign, as he opted to play in the Olympics. The 24-year-old will be looking to take home a Gold Medal on home soil, as the games come to Rio, later this summer. Rogerio Micale, has named a strong squad for the Olympics, with Neymar, Palmerias goalkeeper Fernando Prass and Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa selected as the over-23 wildcards. The full Brazil Olympic squad can be found here.
VALENCIA, SPAIN – APRIL 16: Lionel Messi (R) and Neymar of FC Barcelona react after losing 2-1 to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey Final between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Mestalla on April 16, 2014 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)