PARIS: Brazilian forward Neymar on Friday said he was joining French football club Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona seeking a new challenge.
Neymar on Thursday inked a five-year deal with the Ligue 1 side after the player's representatives paid a record buy-out clause of 222 million euros ($263 million), reports Efe.
"I wanted to come to Paris and it was only linked to finding a new challenge. It is not because I was not the star at Barcelona, I fitted in very well there. This is not what I am looking for here," Neymar said during his presentation alongside PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi.
"PSG deserve trophies and I will have new trophies, this is what motivates me, I want to dream bigger," he added.
Although he said it was one of the most difficult decisions he had ever had to make, he expressed his happiness to join PSG.
"It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever taken. I was at a great club at Barcelona, I have friends there and it was not easy to leave at all. It was very tense moments, I had to think and re-think about what I wanted to do in my life, I leave very good friends behind, but that is football. Things go fast in football," he added.
"I want to thank all my friends at Barca, they welcomed me so well but it was the right time to leave. I spoke with the Brazilian players here and they were happy for me to come here," the former Santos player continued.
Neymar said he was ready to take part in Paris Saint-Germain's first Ligue 1 match of the season against Amiens at the Parc-des-Princes home stadium, which has been delayed for 15 minutes to present him to fans.
"I am hungry for football, I always want to play so yes, I am ready for tomorrow against Amiens," he said.
Both Neymar and al-Khelaifi confirmed that ambition and motivation were the reason why the Brazilian joined his new club, not money.
"I was never motivated by money. If I was following the money, I would be somewhere else, with other clubs in other countries," Neymar said.
"Neymar came here for motivation, a project that he believed in," said al-Khelaifi. "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."