Neymar couldn't hold back the tears, as the National anthem was played, in his last match with Santos on Sunday.
“It was very emotional,” said Neymar as he bid farewell to his team and Brazilian football. “The movie of my life since I was a little kid came to my mind at that moment.”
On being asked how he felt about playing for Barcelona, Neymar said: “To think I will be playing alongside Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Alves is a big honour. Dani Alves is the guy that has annoyed me most about making the move (laughing). It’s a great feeling.
“To play with Messi is a dream come true. Not just him but all of the Barcelona players. Dani Alves, too, is one of my best friends.”
So what made him choose Barcelona ahead of other clubs like Real Madrid?
“Every kid has a dream. Some want to be a dentist, others want to be reporters and so on.
“My dream has always been to play football at the highest level. Today Barcelona is a team that everybody looks up to. It’s a beautiful and marvellous club,” said the Brazilian forward.
“I hope I will be welcome back (to Santos) some day. Brazil is my home and I will always want to return. I just want to thank the fans for all the support they have given me,” he signed off.
Meanwhile, Barcelona's coach and players have lauded Neymar’s decision to join the Spanish champion.
Sport over economics
“We have to thank Neymar for making a choice with sport in mind over economics,” Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova said on Sunday in reference to Neymar's snubbing of the reportedly larger salary Real Madrid had offered him.
“Neymar has chosen Barcelona because he believes that he can adapt well to this style of play. If he had been looking for money, Barcelona wouldn’t have had anything to say. We are sure that he will play well in Europe and that he will help us to be a great team.”
Alves said that Neymar is “not a pop star,” while David Villa added that his arrival “is a great piece of news for all of Barcelona’s fans.”
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, credited with playing a key part in the signing of Brazil forward Ronaldinho a decade ago, said that there was still no date for Neymar's official presentation.
“We don't sign players with the idea of dealing a blow to anyone. But rather to improve our club.” — Agencies