The birds in the sky, earthworms in the earth soils, snakes and wild animals in the thickest of forests, fishes in the ocean, everyone, and in fact everything knows the biggest and most controversial transfer matter in the world currently is that of Brazil and Barcelona superstar Neymar’s possible/imminent transfer to French giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
It is said that the transfer fee involved will be earth-shaking, potentially dwarfing Paul Pogba’s (world’s current most expensive footballer) GBP89m-GBP100m paid – to Juventus – for his services by Man United a year ago.
The gargantuan transfer fee in question is GBP197m (Euros 222m). Eyebrows have since been and are still being raised, varying voices and opinions including dissenting ones against the transfer heard, and, can you believe it? His club side, Barcelona, are so reluctant to let go despite PSG being set to meet the colossal release clause of the talented star. Indeed, an indication of how pivotal he is to the club’s future aspirations and how valuable he is as well.
I, being a pundit, have been quietly ruminating over the whole issue and wonder why Neymar is motivated to make such move I regard as simply ‘knee-jerk and unwise’ if it eventually happens. Is it the now famous claim that he says he wants to quit existing/reigning under the shadows of team-mate and club legend Lionel Messi and be his own man and finally land the much coveted FIFA Best Footballer award? Or is he motivated by the money involved especially as the Parisians have promised him a whopping GBP45m sign-on fee the moment he puts pen to paper? Or is he being pressurized by his seemingly ‘greedy, covetuos’ father who happens to be his agent? Or is the occasional harassment by the Spanish tax authorities and impending trial the rationale? Remember he is under investigation for tax fraud just like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two best players on earth for more than a decade have been.
Here is my take: Firstly, let’s face it; let’s call a spade a spade. The price (Euro 220m) is just too outrageous and exorbitant for a single player. I beg to disagree that even the present-day Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are worth such amount of money. Maybe at the ‘peak of their peak’ i.e like two years ago. This is indeed an abuse! The authorities such as FIFA, UEFA and co. have just got to step in…FFP might not be enough. It appears to be too weak to put a stop to stuffs like this. There’s got to be a cap, a control on players’ prices and even wages earned! Don’t get me wrong, Neymar is an excessively talented chap, a potential ‘multiple’ FIFA Best Player (I have always said before now but with this move…hmmn) but he is too costly for this amount. Truth is no player of today is worth it even the ‘dangerously over-hyped‘ Kylian Mbappe at Monaco.
Of course, there is bound to be a trickle down effect. Every player now to b sold will be mentioned in the GBP50m-GBP100m bracket including those who are not worth even up to half of the minimum. Clubs will now capitalize. For instance, on a good day, is Kyle Walker – who switched from Tottenham to Man City this summer – worth the over GBP50m paid for him? How about Gyfil Sigurdsson whom Swansea is insisting on getting GBP50m from Everton before letting go? How about Benjamin Mendy who moved from Monaco to Man City for similar amount as Walker’s? These three cases mentioned have been in place before this Neymar transfer ‘ish’ even started. You can imagine what it is now gonna be like, going forward.
Secondly, if it is for the sole reason of trying to get out of the clutches or shadows of Messi and land the biggest individual soccer prize in the world then Neymar is making a huge mistake because the French Lique 1 is massively a downgrade on the Spanish La Liga. Truth is if you are a very talented or gifted footballer aspiring to win individual European and global awards apart from trophies, the La Liga offers you such platform more than anywhere else in the world including the glamourous, over-hyped English Premier League (EPL). Yes! I stand to be corrected.
Even before Messi and Ronaldo monopolized, or is it duopolized the award until this moment, it’s always been won by La Liga-based players say for when Cristiano Ronaldo won it once while in Man Utd and that was because Messi was plagued by injury a lot in that particular season.
The Ligue 1 is not on TV like the La Liga and EPL are; the quality of play is also a step or steps below and can at most rank with the likes of the Dutch Eredivisie, Jupiler League (Belgium) and Primera Liga (Portugal) or slightly above them. PSG’s wealth since being taken over by Qatar oil billionaires couple of years ago, has only added some glamour to the league and taken it a notch higher. If Neymar moves there, yes, he will grab all the attention in France apart from additional wealth he is bound to amass into his pocket but he wouldn’t be reckoned with that much when nominations are being done for the FIFA Best Players award especially when you consider the fact that Ronaldo and Messi are still in the reckoning though you get the sense that they are slowly and gradually waning. Of course, there are the likes of Philliphe Coutinho (who is touted to replace Neymar should the purported transfer happen), Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, among others.
Without mincing words, it’s matter of time before the likes of Hazard and Coutinho make the switch to Spain (Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively) where their talents best fit and will be duly recognized. And make no mistake about it, they are future FIFA Best Footballer winners undoubtedly. So, where does this leave Neymar who would probably be setting the Ligue 1 on fire but not enough to be mentioned in the same light as the two?
If I had assess to Neymar, I would sit him down and educate him as per the HARD FACT that Real Madrid and Barcelona are hardly ever overlooked when the award is being given. He is at one of the best and biggest clubs in the world and his future is so bright. After the Ronaldo and Messi era, he is next on board to reign supreme in the game side by side the aforementioned duo (Coutinho and Hazard). He should remain humble and exercise a little more patience. The current two rulers of the game do not have much time on their side again in the business.
But, if it is for the reason of being hounded consistently by tax authorities in Spain, I think it is justified knowing that France, precisely Paris is tax-friendly to footballers and the likes.
Gut feeling tells me that Neymar’s head and heart are not in unison and he is being pushed by his father to assent to the deal.
It is understood that he has just flew into Dubai for talks and medical. The next few hours or days will be so defining. Time will tell. The world is definitely watching.