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To secure the services of the Barcelona forward, PSG splashed 222 million euros ($262 million) - double the previous world record transfer of 105 million euros (then $116 million) paid past year by Manchester United for France midfielder Paul Pogba.

There were reports that Neymar's decision to move away from Barcelona came when he saw Lionel Messi, his striking partner at Barcelona, take the limelight following a miraculous comeback against PSG in the UEFA Champions League last season.

"I love Barcelona and Catalunya". I have trained in pre-season. He added that it is a "new and bigger challenge" for him. "Paris Saint-Germain's ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings".

"It was one of most hard decisions that I made in my life, being well adapted in a city and in a big club like Barcelona", Neymar said.

The Brazil international's move will go down in history after more than doubling the previous world record transfer fee, and for potentially signalling a major power shift in European football. Barca now seem nearly certain to try and use some of the money to bring in a raft of big-money signings that could set off a chain reaction of deals.

Tebas believes the astronomical sums being spent by the French giants, including a reported 30 million euro salary after tax for Neymar, makes it impossible for them to comply with financial fair play regulations (FFP). "I wanted to come to Paris and it was only linked to my desire for a new challenge, not because I didn't feel like a big star at Barcelona".

The Catalans also increased his release clause to €200m for the first year of his contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three in order to ward off potential suitors.

The 25-year-old will be officially presented to Paris Saint-Germain's fans at Estadio Parc des Princes on Saturday.

He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde to leave to "sort out his future".

Fans swarmed a PSG outlet on the Champs Elysees to buy shirts with Neymar's name and number on the back as the 25-year-old forward headed for the city centre in a motorcade after arriving in a private jet shortly before 11 am at Le Bourget airport north-east of Paris.

Two of the world's most prominent athletes - both of whom have had to play supporting actor to even more prominent athletes - have opted to go out and grab a leading role elsewhere.

Neymar's departure from Barcelona breaks up the feted attacking trident he formed with Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez.

"I told him not to do it as I hadn't made my decision yet, but it was just a joke".

Only 18 clubs have a greater valuation than that total investment, according to Forbes, none of which are in France outside of PSG.

"FC Barcelona and Catalonia will always be in my heart but I need new challenges".