The President of the Paris Saint-Germain, PSG, Nasser Al-Khelaifi said over 80 million people in Brazil watched the unveiling of Neymar at the Parc des Princes in August after the superstar was signed from Barcelona.
Neymar’s move to the PSG was a sensational world-record £198 million contract and undoubtedly garnered media stampede, thus Al-Khelaifi admitted to being amazed at the number of people he was told watched the 25-year-old being presented.
According to him,
“Neymar is an international superstar. An international brand. Everybody is asking ‘what’s going on in France and in the French league? Neymar is playing for Paris Saint-Germain! he said.
“It is good also for the Champions League because you will have another club competing -– I am not saying by any means we are there yet –- but it’s important to have new clubs coming and clubs with ambition,” added Al-Khelaifi, who said winning the Champions League is the “ultimate goal.”
“I spoke to the owner of Globo TV in Brazil, and he said, ‘Guess how much people in Brazil watched the presentation of Neymar—just the presentation, not the first match.’ I said, ‘5 million.’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ’10 million?’ He said, ‘No—85 million.’ It’s amazing.”
This is just viewers in Brazil, not to mention that Neymar’s first match in Guingamp was broadcast to 183 countries, which Al-Khelaifi admitted was amazing for France and the French league.
Apart from viewers, the PSG boss also explained that as a result of adding new superstars to the squad – including signing 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe on loan from Monaco during the summer transfer window, the Paris football club is faced with the challenge of not having enough shirts to sell.
“Today we have a good problem to solve—we don’t have enough jerseys! This is huge for us. I was in the U.S. last week, and I saw the jersey of Paris Saint-Germain everywhere. It is the same in Asia and Latin America, the Middle East,” Al-Khelaifi boasted.
The signing of Neymar was a huge statement of intent by PSG that they have ambitions of becoming one of the biggest clubs in the world who will compete for the UEFA Champions League.
Neymar has not disappointed in his opening games for PSG and has already registered four goals and four assists in four Ligue 1 matches, according to WhoScore report. Thus, the Brazilian is living up to expectations as PSG expects this to continue when they begin their 2017-18 Champions League campaign at Celtic on Tuesday.