?Paris Saint-Germain have officially completed the signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar from Barcelona, more than doubling the previous world transfer record after triggering the 25-year-old’s enormous €222m release clause.

This is the first time in history that a French club has broken the record, with Spanish, Italian and English clubs responsible for all but three world record deals since the very first £100 transfer was completed 124 years ago in 1893.

Neymar has signed a lucrative 5-year contract with the six-time French champions after leaving Barcelona’s pre-season programme earlier this week. Barcelona confirmed earlier on Thursday that the player had officially bought himself out of his contract in Catalunya – with the deal obviously funded by PSG – in order for him to complete the move. 

PSG’s new number 10 said on the transfer: “I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want. 

“Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played 4 seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”

“It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, President of Paris Saint-Germain. “Neymar Jr is today one of the very best players in world football. His winning mentality, strength of character and sense of leadership have made him into a great player. He will bring a very positive energy to this club. 

“In six years, we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football. Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realising our greatest dreams.”

Neymar joins four of his Selecao international colleagues in Paris – Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura and ex-Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves.

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In landing Neymar, PSG, who are looking to wrestle the Ligue 1 title back from Monaco after last season, have successfully completed arguably the most ambitious transfer of all time.

From the player himself it is a statement of intent after suggestions that he was keen to step out of Lionel Messi’ shadow in Spain and prove himself to be the best player in the world.

Should he inspire PSG to glory in the Champions League – the club has never yet been further than the semi-finals (1995) – ending the long quest for European glory, he will have potentially done that.