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Pele delighted by Neymar’s PSG switch

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Brazilian superstar Neymar poses with his new jersey during his official presentation at the Parc des Princes stadium on August 4, 2017 in Paris after agreeing a five-year contract following his world record 222 million euro ($260 million) transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain’s (PSG). Paris Saint-Germain have signed Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record transfer fee of 222 million euros (around $264 million), more than doubling the previous record. Neymar said he came to Paris Saint-Germain for a “bigger challenge” in his first public comments since arriving in the French capital. / AFP PHOTO / Lionel BONAVENTURE

Brazilian legend Pele hailed Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain as an opportunity for his his compatriot to “be the big star”, in an interview with goal.com on Friday.

Pele, who won the World Cup three times as a player and scored over 1,000 goals during his career, said that it would be good for Neymar to leave the shadow of former Barca teammate Lionel Messi.

“For Neymar, I think it (moving to PSG) was the best thing,” he said.

“I think it was the best thing because there was always the discussion, ‘Neymar, Messi, Neymar, Messi’. Now, he will have the opportunity to be the big star.”

Neymar spent four seasons with Barcelona before joining big-spending PSG in a world-record transfer worth 222 million euros ($267m).

The 25-year-old forward started out at Santos, where Pele played for the majority of his glittering career.

“It’s a great responsibility he has now,” Pele, 76, added.

“Because people started comparing Neymar to Messi. And as a Brazilian, I say that there’s no doubt that Neymar is one of the best in his position, because we have Cristiano Ronaldo who is a centre-forward as well.

“But with Messi it’s a bit different. Messi is an organiser and he also scores goals.”



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