PSG make quick million in shirt sales as Neymar waits
06 Aug 2017 - 0:49
Paris: Neymar watched from the stands as Paris Saint Germain opened their season yesterday, but the French club have already clawed back around a €1m on their world record investment thanks to selling a staggering 10,000 shirts bearing the Brazilian’s name in just one day.
The 25-year-old superstar, signed from Barcelona for a mind-boggling €222m ($264m), will be presented to the PSG support prior to his new team’s first game of the Ligue 1 campaign against promoted Amiens.
A ceremony began at 3:45pm with the kick-off put back quarter of an hour to 5:15pm to allow extra time for the player’s unveiling before a crowd of more than 45,000 at the Parc des Princes.
However, Neymar’s hopes of playing in the match were dashed when his international transfer certificate failed to be lodged with the French league by the midnight deadline on Friday.
“I am ready to start on Saturday if I can,” he said before falling victim to the constraints of paperwork earlier.
Despite the minor setback, Neymar has already started repaying his mammoth transfer fee.
PSG said that more than 10,000 shirts bearing his name and his new number No.10 were sold on Friday.
At an average of €100 each, PSG generated €1m even before he had kicked a ball.
Money was the subject of most of the questions fired at the Brazilian when he was unveiled to the media on Friday after arriving in the French capital on a private jet.
Neymar will become the second highest-paid player in the world -- behind Carlos Tevez and his €38m-a year at Shanghai Shenhua but ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s €23.6m annual salary at Real Madrid.
The transfer fee shattered the previous world record of €105m set by Manchester United in signing France midfielder Paul Pogba last year from Juventus.
It is an eye-watering sum, but one that PSG President Nasser Al Khelaifi insisted will eventually look like a bargain for the player who came third in the Ballon d’Or in 2015 behind Messi and Ronaldo.
“There are not two Neymars in the world. I would love for us to meet in two years and see what his value will be compared to today. At least double,” said Al Khelaifi.
On the field PSG are hoping Neymar can help them win back the Ligue 1 title lost to Monaco last season, and also finally get their hands on the Champions League trophy.