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May 28, 2013

Neymar signs five-year deal with Barca

Brazilian striker Neymar is now officially a Barcelona player after signing a five-year contract with the Catalan club.

Pele labelled Neymar as an 'ordinary player'
Barcelona had been chasing Neymar for a long time

The 21-year-old put pen to paper on Monday, just two days after announcing that he had decided to pick the La Liga champions over rivals Real Madrid.

- Tomas: Neymar just the ticket

Neither the player himself nor Barca have released financial details of the transfer, however, Brazilian media claim that the Spanish outfit will pay around €30 million to Santos for the youngster’s services.

Neymar's father, Neymar Silva Santos, said on Monday that a contract was signed establishing the terms of the deal, and a final document will soon be signed in Spain by Santos, his son and Barca.

Santos had accepted an offer from Madrid as well but the allure of the Camp Nou side, who have reportedly been following Neymar since 2010, ultimately proved to be too strong.

"I'm sad to be leaving Santos, but it's a great honour to be signing with a club like Barcelona and to be able to play with some of the best players in the world," Neymar said.

The striker also posted a message on his official Twitter and Instagram accounts announcing his departure from the Brazilian club, where he started his professional career in 2009.

He wrote: "Here it ends this wonderful passage with a special club. Thank you for everything. I'll keep these moments with me my entire life."

Neymar inspired Santos to their finest run of success since the days of Pele in the 1970s, helping them to the 2010 Brazilian Cup, the 2011 Copa Libertadores and three straight Sao Paulo state championships. He is also the club's leading scorer in the post-Pele era with 138 goals in 230 matches.

The striker will join up with Brazil's Confederations Cup squad on Tuesday, before travelling to Spain for his official introduction to Barca supporters on June 2, following the Selecao’s friendly against England in Rio de Janeiro.

Neymar is likely to be given his favoured No. 11 shirt at his new club, currently worn by Thiago Alcantara, although he has said he will take another number if it proves to be a problem.

"Let's see what's available, that's not going to be a problem," he said.

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