A new era for French football - how the world reacted to Neymar's PSG switch

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Goal editors and correspondents from across the globe lift the lid on how the Brazilian's incredible transfer to Ligue 1 was greeted in their regions

Neymar’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain caused an earthquake in world football.

The outfit from the French capital proved themselves among the world’s very top clubs, not just by spending €222 million on one player, but by attracting one of the game’s genuine superstars.

Neymar 12/1 to be top Champions League scorer

The 25-year-old Brazil international made his debut against Guingamp last weekend in some style. Not only did he help PSG to a fine 3-0 victory, he capped a man-of-the-match display with a goal and an assist.

It was a fixture watched by millions all over the world, signifying a rise in interest that both Ligue 1 and the club are sure to feel over the months and years ahead.

Using Goal ’s unique panel of experts from all over the world, here is how different regions have reacted to the move ahead of Neymar’s home debut against Toulouse on Sunday.


AXEL ALLAG - Goal France


Neymar Guingamp PSG Ligue 1 08132017

“Neymar's arrival lifts PSG to another dimension. Unai Emery wanted a player among the best in the world to help his side attain the level of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich and win the Champions League - Neymar is that player.

"On the sporting front, PSG have a great chance to get closer to the top clubs and eventually consolidate themselves among the best four teams on the planet. Emery values what Neymar will bring to his team, particularly in the decisive attacking areas.

"This is a situation that could be a 'win-win' on both sides. Neymar wants to become the best player in the world and the PSG wants to grow with Neymar as their main protagonist."


IGNASI OLIVA - Barcelona correspondent Goal Spain


Neymar

“Thinking about PSG, it is easy to understand how Nasser Al Khelaifi convinced Marco Verratti to stay by signing Neymar. They are already world football's reference in terms of their spending power, but they have now built a team able to win all possible titles. 

“In fact, they were already a good team, but they were just missing a big star. And they have bought the best of the stars, excluding Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have already turned 30.

“I think Neymar’s move marks a new era in which PSG are going to be at the top and Barcelona, if thing aren't handled better, won't in the short term.”


FELIPE TORRES - Goal Brazil


Neymar Guingamp PSG Ligue 1 08132017

“The arrival of Neymar in Paris was a great surprise for us in Brazil. He seemed to be very comfortable with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona. He also loved the city!  And everyone was expecting an excellent season for Ney in Spain because of the World Cup next summer. 

“But, of course, we all know that Neymar has individual aspirations – he wants to be the best in the world. Playing alongside Messi, it would be very difficult to achieve this goal. He can be the star at PSG.

“Talking about PSG, there are many Brazilians players there and Neymar already looks very happy and confident. It’s his chance to be the main man!  And, for sure, PSG will have many more Brazilian fans now. All of Brazil is #Njr10.”


MAXIMILIAN SCHMECKEL - Goal Germany


Neymar Guingamp PSG Ligue 1 08132017

“Neymar's transfer to Paris Saint-Germain is a changing point for the reputation of the club and the whole French league in Germany. Due to the fact that they have signed the successor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the worldwide hype has spread here as well. 

“PSG have shown that they really want to attack the giants like Real Madrid - and that they are ready to win the Champions League. On the one hand, Neymar is only one player, but on the other hand he is so much more. 

“The people here are now really interested in watching his games and every football fan in Germany is fascinated by the development of a new era in Paris.”


RONAN MURPHY - Goal UK


Neymar Guingamp PSG Ligue 1 08132017

“Neymar's €222m move to PSG was widely discussed in the UK, with most of the Premier League's leading managers commenting on the world record transfer. Jose Mourinho was impressed by PSG's decision to spend that much on the Brazilian, telling reporters: 'For £200m, I don't think he is expensive. Neymar is one of the best players in the world, commercially he is very strong and for sure PSG thought about it.'

“The move is probably of greater importance to Liverpool, as Neymar's departure from Barcelona further paved the way for the Catalan club to chase Philippe Coutinho.

“From a fan's perspective, the transfer has definitely resulted in more people discussing and taking an interest in Ligue 1. Rather than being a league that sells its best players to the Premier League and elsewhere, Neymar's arrival signals a turn for the French top flight. 

“PSG are now being considered as a Champions League contender, meaning that 2016-17's stunning European campaign from fellow Ligue 1 side Monaco will happen with more regularity.”


MED TAHA - Goal Arabia


Neymar Guingamp PSG Ligue 1 13082017

“Neymar’s move to PSG couldn’t go unnoticed in the MENA region, where European football is followed more closely than the local game. You could hear people discussing it almost everywhere. 

“His official presentation with the French team was shown in the coffee shops and no one wanted to miss his debut against Guingamp, although the game was played at the same time as the Spanish and Italian Super Cups. 

“PSG games will be more followed both in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League and the expectations around the team are becoming very high.”


BENJAMIN VALENTINE - Goal USA


Neymar EAG PSG Ligue 1 13082017

"Like most places around the world, there was shock at PSG paying such a huge fee. Now that the surprise has worn off, there’s general interest in seeing how it shakes out.

"Fans wanted to actually see Neymar in PSG colours - interest that simply would not have been in PSG’s games or Ligue 1 otherwise.

"But the real curiosity is to see whether this gambit pays off with a Champions League title - which will see plenty of people watching intently come the spring to laud the move if it works or criticise it if it does not."


AGUNG HARSYA - Goal Indonesia


Neymar PSG

"It's not only the price tag, the Neymar transfer is a bold statement that shows PSG's aspirations to become the leading football club in the world.

"Picking a yellow jersey as their away strip and recruiting a Brazilian football star is a very smart move. Now PSG will get Indonesia's support whenever they are playing.

"The transfer will bring attention to Ligue 1 as well. Fans will look at Ligue 1 fixtures-week to-week, waiting for Neymar and PSG to play.

"But, of course, it's not only that - Ligue 1 has brought in a number of famous names, especially coaches with a great reputation - Unai Emery, Lucien Favre, Claudio Ranieri, Marcelo Bielsa and Rudi Garcia. And of course there's the growing reputation of Leonardo Jardim.

"Not only PSG will take benefit from the Neymar transfer, but I also believe Ligue 1 is gaining supporters around the world."


FEDERICO CASOTTI - Goal Italy


HD Neymar PSG

“Neymar’s move to PSG echoed around Italy as well. 

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“From one angle, there's a sort of melancholy around Italian supporters, as they're conscious that no Italian club (even Juventus) could afford such a fee, and that the Golden Age of Serie A is definitely over.

“There are also concerns from Juventus fans that Paulo Dybala may head to Barcelona to replace the Brazilian. Juventus have now awarded him the iconic number 10 shirt and the noise died down. 

“Ligue 1 is a competition with a good following in Italy and the arrival of Neymar will definitely boost to its popularity, as happened when PSG bought so many players from Serie A at the beginning of the QSI era."

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