Barcelona celebrate prize catch

Barcelona's coach and players have lauded Brazilian sensation Neymar after his decision to join the Spanish champion over fierce rival Real Madrid.

Written by Associated Press | Barcelona | Published: May 28, 2013 4:16 am

Barcelona’s coach and players have lauded Brazilian sensation Neymar after his decision to join the Spanish champion over fierce rival Real Madrid.

“We have to thank Neymar for making a choice with sport in mind over economics,” Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova said on Sunday in reference to Neymar’s snubbing of the reportedly larger salary Madrid had offered him.

The financial details of the five-year deal Santos have yet to be released.

“(Neymar) has chosen Barcelona because he believes that he can adapt well to this style of play,” Vilanova said following Barcelona’s 2-0 win at Espanyol on Sunday. “If he had been looking for money,Barcelona wouldn’t have had anything to say. We are sure that he will play well in Europe and that he will help us to be a great team.”

Barcelona defender and fellow Brazil international Dani Alves said that Neymar “is not a pop star,” while David Villa added that his arrival “is a great piece of news for all of Barcelona’s fans” despite coming in direct competition with Neymar for playing time on the left side of Barcelona’s attack.

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