‘Happy’ Neymar extends PSG contract to 2025


Paris (AFP) – Neymar has signed a contract extension that will see him stay at Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the 2024-2025 season, the French champions announced on Saturday.

The Brazil attacker said he had “grown as a person, as a human being” since joining the club in 2017 from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($270 million) in what remains the most expensive transfer in history.

“I’m really pleased to continue my adventure at Paris Saint-Germain,” the 29-year-old said in a club statement after extending his contract until June 30, 2025.

“I’m very happy in Paris, and proud to be part of this squad, to work with these players, a great coach and to be part of the history of this club.

“I have grown as a person here, as a human being and as a player, too. So I am very happy to extend my contract and I hope to win many more trophies here.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino said in a press conference: “Everyone in the PSG family is happy that a player of Neymar’s talent has extended his contract.”

Neymar has claimed three Ligue 1 titles and two French Cups with PSG, but the major honour that he was bought by the Qatari-owned club to win, the Champions League, continues to prove elusive.

He helped PSG to reach last season’s final where they were beaten by Bayern Munich but the club’s chances of reaching the final again were ended by Manchester City on Tuesday — and Neymar was ineffectual in the 2-0 semi-final second-leg defeat in England.

– Mixed relationship with supporters –

There has been frequent speculation in Spain that Barcelona wanted to re-sign him, but Neymar’s decision to extend his deal in the French capital is not a surprise as he has looked increasingly settled at PSG in recent months.

Lionel Messi said in September 2019 he would have “loved” Neymar to return to the club.

“I would have loved for Neymar to come. I don’t know if Barca did everything possible to bring him back but it’s true that negotiating with PSG is not easy,” he said at the time.

Neymar was booed by PSG supporters after expressing a desire to return to Barcelona in 2019, but his strong performances in the run to the Champions League final last season endeared him to fans.

In a video on the PSG website on Saturday, he said of his time at PSG so far: “Some things happened that shouldn’t have happened. We have had battles and a few sad times, but I am happy and proud to be part of the history of Paris Saint-Germain.”

Neymar has scored 85 goals and registered 51 assists in 112 games for the club.

Having tied down Neymar to a new deal, the Qatari owners will now turn their attention to persuading forward Kylian Mbappe to stay at the club.

The France World Cup-winning forward, 22, is coveted by a host of Europe’s top clubs, with Real Madrid believed to be the frontrunners for his signature.

PSG club face a battle to retain their French title after Lille beat Lens 3-0 on Friday to move four points ahead of the Parisians, who visit Rennes on Sunday. 

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