In perhaps the most predictable transfer of all time, Neymar has joined Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal from PSG.
The Saudi Pro League is new, but post-peak players joining lesser leagues for massive paydays is not. It has been clear for some time that Neymar was destined for a transfer like this.
The reason? Neymar is a superstar, but not the kind of superstar football fans thought he could, or should be. He rose to prominence playing in tandem with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in that fabled Barcelona squad.
Then came his transfer-market-breaking transfer to PSG. It became clear that this was not a guy motivated by the idea of glory, of footballing greatness. Neymar spurned the chance to become a Barcelona legend to live a playboy lifestyle in Paris.
He didn’t train well, if at all. He liked a party, famously taking many holidays for the sake of partying. His is undoubtedly the story of unfulfilled potential. Yet, he was still brilliant, and almost achieved greatness on occasion.
He made it to the Champions League final with PSG but lost out to Bayern Munich. He couldn’t help Brazil towards World Cup glory, but he is the nation’s all time leading scorer. That is a record not to be sniffed at.
It is important to remember that he was unlucky, as well. He sustained a number of serious injuries including broken ankles and broken metatarsals. All in all, he only played in 55% of possible games for PSG in six years.
Essentially, Neymar is a guy who found himself in a stupendously well paid profession and enjoyed it. The timing of his career made it look as if he was the heir to Messi and Ronaldo. He was never going to follow in their relentless footsteps, though. Neymar is a victim of being less professional than everybody expected him to be, and more human than perhaps anybody allowed him to be.
He still did quite well for himself, though, and he will continue doing quite well for himself in Saudi Arabia.