Paris Saint Germain have one of the most formidable attacking duos in world football, and it’s fair to say that their contract situations have developed into a bit of a saga in recent months.
However, one half of the duo has now committed himself to the club. It was announced recently that Neymar had agreed a new deal with PSG, keeping him at the Parc des Princes until 2025.
This announcement would have been unimaginable in 2019, when the Brazilian was determined to leave Paris and return to Barcelona. But, since then, things have changed. PSG have truly established themselves as a European force and Neymar has grown to be ‘truly happy’ at the club.
The Brazilian’s contract extension is the news – or, at least, half of the news – PSG fans have been waiting desperately to hear. Why? Because it’s a true statement of intent.
To sign a player of Neymar’s calibre for a world record €222m is one thing; to then make him still believe in the club’s project four years later and commit a further three seasons (at 29, probably his last individually lucrative three) of his career is another.
“I am very happy to extend with Paris,” Neymar told PSG.fr.
“The truth is that I am very happy to stay here for many years, to participate in the club’s project, to win titles there, to realise our biggest dream which is the Champions League. So I’m happy to stay at the club, to be part of its history and to extend my contract.”
Of course, the biggest statement made by this news is PSG’s intent in Europe. Domestically, there are very few issues. Since Neymar’s arrival in 2017, the club have picked up three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two Coupes de France and two Coupes de la Ligue.
But the Parisian club’s recent Champions League pain has been well documented and it is glory on this biggest stage of all that continues to evade them. In 2019/20 they came mighty close to lifting the famous trophy, only for PSG academy graduate Kingsley Coman’s header to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 win in the final. The world saw how much the competition meant to the club, and Neymar in particular, as the Brazilian was left in tears after the final whistle.
This season, it was the immovable Manchester City that imposed yet more heartbreak on the Parisians. A 4-1 aggregate defeat in the semi final saw an inexperience and petulance come to the forefront as the PSG players realised they’d fallen short once again. But Neymar’s contract extension proves that the club are heading in the right direction, and do still retain the ambition to finally win a European trophy.
Neymar’s commitment to the club has to be a sign of the club’s desire to keep and recruit key personnel, too. The winger has made no secret over his admiration for Kylian Mbappe and has declared his desire for the 22-year old to continue with PSG beyond the conclusion of this campaign.
The Brazilian’s contract extension could, along with Real Madrid’s current lack of financial resource, be a swinging factor in persuading Mbappe to stay in Paris – something that will also be key in allowing PSG to grow into a successful European force.
Of course, it is those two that everyone connected with the club want to see playing at the Parc des Princes next season. But their commitment itself will be key in attracting enough big game players to provide real character and leadership when they need it most – a lack of such characteristics has really let them down in recent years.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here – a contract extension doesn’t guarantee success itself. But getting Neymar to stick through until 2025 is a huge gesture of ambition and intent to succeed at every level. And if the club can use this statement to persuade Mbappe and others to commit to PSG, they’re bound to taste Champions League success sooner rather than later – you’d hope so, anyway!
If so, this contract extension could prove to be one of the biggest pieces of business in Paris Saint Germain’s modern history.