Barcelona’s new signing Neymar was in tears as he bid farewell in his final match for Santos. The 21-year-old has agreed to join Barca on a five-year deal and played his final game in Brazil in the season opener against Flamengo.
The striker has been at the centre of a long running transfer saga which came to a head over the weekend when it was revealed both Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid had tabled offers for the star. However, his move to the Nou Camp has long been touted.
Before an emotional final game for Santos, Neymar thanked the club in a statement.
“Only a club like Santos could give me everything I have experienced on and off the field. I thank the wonderful fans who supported me even in the most difficult moments. Titles, goals, dribbling, celebrations and songs that fans created for me will be forever in my heart.”
“I made sure I could play the match in Brasilia,” he said. “I want to have the opportunity to once again take the field and hear the crowd scream my name … It is a strange time for me, sad and happy new challenge. May God bless me in my choices … And I’m always a Santos fan.”