Neymar Jr speaks with his father Neymar Snr at a promotional soccer match in Brazil. Photo: REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto
Neymar Jr speaks with his father Neymar Snr at a promotional soccer match in Brazil. Photo: REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto
Neymar arrives at the departure terminal at the airport in Barcelona. Photo: REUTERS/Albert Gea
Neymar arrives at the departure terminal at the airport in Barcelona. Photo: REUTERS/Albert Gea

PARIS - Neymar admitted that he chose to leave Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain against the advice of his father on Friday, just before arriving in the French capital.

"A sportsman needs challenges. And for the second time in my life, I am going against the advice of my Dad," the Brazilian wrote in a long post in Spanish on his Instagram account on Thursday night.

"Dad, I understand and respect your opinion, but my decision is taken, I ask that you support me as you always have done," he added.

On Thursday Neymar signed a five-year deal with PSG, in which he is expected to earn 30 million euros ($35.6 million) net per year.

He earlier severed his ties with Barcelona after paying the colossal sum of 222 million euros ($264 million) to buyout his contract.

That means the transfer is a new world record deal, more than double the previous record of 105 million euros paid by Manchester United to Juventus for Paul Pogba last year.

Neymar added that his family "has suffered a lot with problems that have occurred in this period of my career and deserve peace. It is a difficult decision, but one taken with the maturity of my 25 years."

La vida de un deportista se mueve por desafíos. Algunos son impuestos, otros son fruto de nuestras decisiones. El Barcelona ha sido más que un desafío. Jugaba con aquellos cracks en el video juego. Llegué a Catalunya a los 21 años, lleno de desafíos. Recuerdo mis primeros días en el Club, compartiendo el vestuario con ídolos como Messi, Valdés, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Busquets y otros con la expectativa de jugar en un Club que es “més que un club”. El @fcbarcelona es una nación que representa a Catalunya! Tuve el honor de actuar con el mayor atleta que he visto en mi vida y estoy seguro que no veré a otro mejor, @leomessi se convirtió en mi compañero, amigo dentro y fuera del terreno de juego. Orgulloso de jugar contigo. Formé un ataque con @leomessi y @luissuarez9 que ha quedado para la historia. He conquistado todo lo que un deportista puede conquistar. He vivido momentos inolvidables! Vivo en una ciudad que es más que una ciudad, es una patria. Amo Barcelona y Catalunya. Pero un deportista (YO) necesita desafíos. Y por segunda vez en mi vida le llevaré la contraria a mi papa. Papa, entiendo y respeto tu opinión, pero mi decisión está tomada, te pido que me apoyes como siempre lo has hecho. El @fcbarcelona y Catalunya estarán siempre en mi corazón pero necesito nuevos desafíos. He aceptado la propuesta del @psg para buscar nuevas conquistas y ayudar al Club a alcanzar los títulos que la afición espera. Me han presentado un plan de carrera osado y me veo preparado para este desafío. Agradezco el cariño de la afición blaugrana y todo lo que he aprendido con los deportistas con quien he compartido vestuario. Asimismo siento en mi corazón que ha llegado el momento de irme. El @psg será mi nueva casa durante los próximos años y trabajaré para hacer honor a la confianza que depositan en mi futbol. Cuento mucho con el apoyo de todos. Aficionados, de mis amigos, de los profesionales que me acompañan y de mi familia, que ha sufrido mucho con problemas que han ocurrido en este periodo de mi carrera y merecen paz. Es una decisión difícil, pero tomada con la madurez de mis 25 años. @fcbarcelona , gràcies per tot! @psg , J'arrive! Que Dios nos bendiga y nos proteja!

A post shared by Nj 🇧🇷 👻 neymarjr (@neymarjr) on

The player's assurances could be seen as a way of hitting back at critics furious at his departure from Barcelona.

Catalan sports daily Sport on Thursday described the player's entourage as "toxic", blaming them for Neymar's departure.

Sport wrote of "the fatal intersection of two diabolical factors: the money of Qatar (which owns PSG via QSI, their sovereign wealth fund) and the monetary and sporting ambition of the Neymars."

Neymar's father is extremely close to his son, supervising his career and the negotiation of his contracts.

He has become a celebrity in his own right, even appearing in an advert alongside his son, who had insisted upon arriving at Barcelona that his shirt should carry the name "Neymar Jr".

Father and son are set to go on trial in Spain following an investigation into the player's transfer to Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos in 2013.

"I have accepted the offer from PSG to try to help the club win the titles the fans want. They presented to me an audacious career plan and I think I am ready for it," added Neymar on Instagram.

Of his four years at the Camp Nou, he added: "I have won everything a sportsman can win. I have experienced unforgettable moments."

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