The landscape of European Football changed forever on Tuesday, July 18 when news broke that Neymar had accepted an offer to join PSG.
According to a report by Brazilian publication Esporte Interativo, the news will become official within the next few weeks and the French club plans to meet his EUR222 Million release clause.
The story of summer began to escalate very quickly.
After the initial skepticism, it became clear that there was some truth to the story. Now, we’re 17 days on, the news is confirmed, and Neymar Jr., wearing his No. 10 PSG shirt, has been featured in images around the globe. The 10 PSG shirt.
What a wonderful moment. What a signing.
I’ve been digging deeper into the story of how this all came about, and it was best to start by talking to the man that got the scoop.
Breaking the Story
The journalist Marcelo Bechler, who lives in Barcelona, was just about to have dinner when he got a call that he will never forget.
He explained: “My contact began to tell me the entire story about Neymar.” The more he talked, the more impact I felt from what he told me.
“I told my director what I heard and he was eager to get the information out. But I knew that it was too important to make a mistake. “I needed more sources.”
Bechler slept on the information which could have rocked the soccer world.
He began calling to confirm his story as soon as he could.
He was ready to broadcast the information at 3 pm.
“I called around Spain, Brazil, and France. Once I had three additional contacts who were able to provide me with specific details, I was confident that I could tell the truth.
“I only reported 30 percent of the information I heard because I wanted it to be 100% accurate. I knew it would be global.
The World Reacts
He was not wrong. In a matter of hours, everyone was interested in the story.
Bechler became a sought-after man. He was interviewed in 20 countries, and he struggled to get on his social media due to the sudden attention.
Fans either viewed his story with cynicism or wanted to learn more. Everyone wanted to know more about the story.
Bechler stated, “I knew that it would be big, but not at this level.” “I was contacted by so many journalists, and I spoke to them all because I understood the pressure they were under to know what happened.
“Suddenly, my social media accounts became difficult to access. I received hundreds of tweets within two minutes. I also had to lock down my Instagram account because people were writing on it and it was something personal, not related to football or my job.
This was the first time as a reporter that I had ever experienced anything like this.
Bechler reported that Neymar was accepting an agreement to leave the Spanish giants.
The player’s decision was a mystery to almost everyone.
Why Neymar decided to leave
Neymar had a number of reasons for considering a move, but the major event that set off this chain of events was when Lionel Messi extended his stay at Barca until 2021.
No evidence exists that there is a problem between Neymar Messi. They have a great relationship on and off the field.
Neymar was weighing his chances to be the best player on the planet and knew that this was becoming a bigger problem.
Neymar believed that he would not be the best footballer in the world, if he wasn’t the best at Barcelona. For the next four-year period, this was the case.
He realised that in order to be regarded as No. He had to accept that if he wanted to be regarded as the world’s No.
The Brazilian bond already existing within the walls was another reason why Neymar was so interested in a move to PSG.
Thiago Silva is in Paris, as are Marquinhos and Lucas Moura. Now, Dana Alves has joined them.
These factors are important to players who are considering a move, and Neymar clearly considered this factor when making his decision.
The ambition and direction PSG took was also viewed as appealing when Neymar’s father and Neymar were beginning to have issues with Barcelona officials.
How PSG took command
PSG Chairman Nasser AlKhelaifi dreamed of landing a new, elite player that could take the club both on and off-the-field to new heights.
It was previously considered to move Cristiano Ronaldo, but it would have required a lot of money, especially since he’s now in his 30s.
Neymar, the next-best option after Messi, was chosen because they knew he was not within reach.
PSG’s moneymen not only felt that he was seeking a new project but also thought he would be a good investment at 25 years old.
PSG has never looked back since they received signs from Neymar’s dad that it was worth starting discussions.
Qatar Investment Authority owns and finances the club, giving them a clout that no other club can match.
PSG, on top of meeting the PS196 million release condition, began serious discussions about a seven figure signing-on fee as well as a possible five-year contract worth more than PS500,000 per week — after tax.
Bechler said that “a serious move for Neymar” was PSG’s attempt to show they were after the best talent on the market. They are improving, and this is their most obvious way to do that.
The player, intrigued by the promises made, decided to join the French club.
Barcelona teammates spoke with him about the situation and for a moment it appeared he was going to decide against a move.
Representatives were surprised when he suggested he’d stay with Barca. And by the time a row broke out between Nelson Semedo and Neymar during a training session, it was too late.
Story of the Decade
Neymar returned to Barcelona after a pre-season trip with Barcelona in the United States, a promotional tour in China, and a pit-stop in Dubai. He said goodbye to his team-mates.
The largest transfer of modern times is going to happen.
It’s understandable that the club tried to convince him not to leave, but when they failed, they tried to prolong the deal. They had to prove to the fans that this superstar would not be allowed to leave. They had to take action to replace him.
Bechler, a journalist for Esporte Interativo, was forced to reflect back on his wildest career moments as plans were made to reveal him in Paris.
He explained that “so many people tried to find out where I got the info.” “But I never doubted what I wrote. As a journalist you must protect your sources. Neymar supporters will want to know where I got my story, but it doesn’t matter now.
I will never forget the phone call that I received during dinner on a Monday night!