Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore has pledged Neymar that his new club will help him become the best player on the planet.
Neymar became the most expensive player in history when the Ligue 1 giants snatched the 25-year-old Brazilian from Barcelona after paying the €222 million (about R3.53 billion) release clause.
Neymar was joyously welcomed at Parc des Princes on Saturday night at his official unveiling before PSG’s opening Ligue 1 win over Amiens.
“He’s one of the best players in the world. He’s a decisive player, who scores goals. The whole team are going to help him become the best player in the world,” vowed Pastore.
“For us it’s fantastic, we’re thrilled that he’s come here,” added Pastore, who has relinquished his No 10 shirt to the Brazilian star.
“We’re waiting now for him to play to start to help us win everything this season.”
Red tape forced Neymar to skip his hoped for debut in Saturday’s 2-0 win as his international transfer certificate wasn’t lodged in time with the French league, meaning he had to watch Pastore and his new teammates from the stands.
The Argentinian suggested Neymar will feel at home at the Paris club.
“Our style won’t change with him, we have a possession-based game like Barcelona, with lots of movement.”
Pastore said it had been an easy decision to give him his jersey.
“I knew that he wanted to have the No 10. I know that for the club it’s important to have a No 10 like Neymar for all that that represents.
“For me to return to No 27 isn’t a problem, I really like that number. I’m happy to have worn the No 10 between ‘Ibra’ (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) and before Neymar.”
Despite all the drama and intrigue surrounding Neymar’s departure from Barcelona, Pastore described the Brazilian as “laidback and reserved”.
One of his other new teammates Adrien Rabiot said Neymar was “a cool guy, balanced, who has the right spirit, joyful”.
The French midfielder disclosed: “On Friday, we got him to sing. He was up for it straight away. You can see he’s really happy to be here.
“That’s what he’s told us in any case, I reckon he means it.”
Neymar’s compatriot Dani Alves said his role in Neymar’s arrival had been minimal.
“I didn’t interfere. The only thing I said to him was ‘Be happy and make the right decision, whether that’s staying at Barca or coming here’.”
Alves, who played with Neymar at Barcelona, said that rather than persuading Neymar to move to PSG, it had been Neymar who had advised him to move to Paris from Juventus this summer.
“Contrary to what people think, it was he who advised me to sign for PSG,” said Alves after Saturday’s game. “It wasn’t me who was telling him to come here.”
He added: “We hadn’t arranged to both come here. There was no plan, but when he suggested I join PSG, it was supposedly because he was going to come too.”