Paris Saint Germain is about to pay Barcelona FC $260 million (£199 million) for the services of Brazilian football icon Neymar.
It begs the question: Can one man ever be worth this much?
He is awesome, but really?
Most of you are American, and are likely confused as hell by the European transfer system. But teams don’t trade players in Europe, they sell their contract to another team.
Right now, the transfer market has gone fucking nuts.
Remember, too, that’s just the buyout fee.
The Brazilian Will Cost $1 Billion In The End
Neymar’s insane salary, rumored to be close to $550,000 a week, signing on bonuses and more are entirely separate and could easily quadruple that fee over the next five years.Or more…
His dad even gets $50 million as part of the deal.
If the final amount exceeds $1 billion, pretty much nobody will be shocked. We think it will.
It’s all a bit Austin Powers isn’t it?
What Could We Do With Neymar’s Salary?
This is enough money to build hospitals, schools, shit we could probably put people in space for the amount one team is going to pay another team for a guy who kicks a ball.
He does give a lot to charity and has a foundation in Brazil. So we’re not talking shit about Neymar Jr. Just the system.
Neymar is probably the third best footballer in the world right now, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
PSG already tried and failed to sign Ronaldo, and Messi is the figurehead of Barcelona and simply will never leave. He is Barcelona’s Tom Brady.
Neymar Is The Biggest Name On The Transfer Market
So Neymar was the biggest name PSG could get and they wanted a marquee signing. The cost really didn’t matter.
The theory is that Neymar will help grow the PSG brand, turn them into icons in the lucrative Asian market, sell thousands of overpriced replica shirts and open up trade for the owners’ other companies.
Football, or soccer as you like to call it, is purely a business these days. It’s a competitive one too.
Foreign Investment Distorted Transfer Market
China has inflated the market by offering average and old players insane amounts of money to head over to the Far East. Now the government has imposed a 100% tax on transfers, that has quietened down a little.
America, too, has played its part. LA Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls have brought in some of Europe’s best aging talent for a last hurrah and a big payday.
But it’s the Middle Eastern and Russian owners of the big European clubs that sent the whole transfer market into overdrive.
In England, Manchester City has emerged as a global force to be reckoned with, thanks to the spending power of Sheikh Mansour.
Chelsea turned from back of the field no-hopers into British champions thanks to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovic and now Oryx Quatar Investments, fronted by Nasser Al-Khelaifi is trying to do the same with Paris Saint Germain.
PSG Has To Win The Champions League
French football, though, is a tier or two below the English and Spanish leagues. So, to make an impression, PSG can’t just win the domestic title, it has to win the Champions League.
That’s an annual playoff, leading to a knockout tournament, between all of Europe’s Champions and some of the runners up.
Can Neymar deliver this? He could, but he is also a statement of intent. If he comes, others will follow. PSG will find it easier to recruit the world’s best, it will build a stronger team and it will, in the end, challenge for the highest honors.
He follows in the footsteps of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham and he joins Angel Di Maria.
In a bid to shortcut that process of building a successful team, the owners have helped distort the transfer market beyond recognition.
Ronaldo’s Transfer Looks Like A Bargain
The world gasped when Real Madrid paid $100 million for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. Now, that seems lie shrewd business.
He’ll be insured in all kinds of different ways, but the grim reality is that Neymar could snap his leg in training next week and never kick a ball for PSG. It’s unlikely, but it could happen.
So spending that kind of money on one player, when a few years ago you could build a championship winning team for less, smacks of stupidity.
And, if nothing else, it shines a light on how fucked up today’s society really is.