Barcelona signing Neymar pays tribute to Santos fans

Barcelona signing Neymar has thanked Santos fans after his transfer was confirmed yesterday.

Neymar went to social media to speak directly with Santos supporters.

Neymar wrote: "I want to thank the fans of Santos for these incredible nine years. My feeling for the club and the fans will never change. It is eternal! Only a club like Santos could give me everything I have experienced on and off the field. I thank the wonderful fans who supported me even in the most difficult moments. Titles, goals, dribbling, celebrations and songs that fans created for me will be forever in my heart...

"I made sure I could play the match in Brasilia. I want to have the opportunity to once again take the field and hear the crowd scream my name ... It is a strange time for me, sad and happy new challenge. May God bless me in my choices ... And I'm always a Santos fan."

In a statement, Santos said they had made every effort to keep hold of the player. "After refusing a offers of many millions for Neymar Jr since mid-2010, and implemented a career plan that allowed his historic stay in Brazil for several years, bucking the trend of Brazilian football to quickly sell its greatest talents, Santos finally agreed to sell.

"Every effort was made to keep him in Brazil as long as possible, even offering to renew the current contract, which ended in July 2014. At this time, however, it was not possible to compete with the terms offered from abroad, which affected the decision of the player to review his professional life.

"Due to the confidentiality agreement, and by mutual agreement, the terms of the transfer will not be disclosed by any of the parties."

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