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Vilanova: Neymar not out for cash

By Agence France-Presse in Madrid | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-28 06:55

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has expressed his delight at the club's capture of Brazilian international Neymar.

The Catalan club confirmed on Sunday that the 21-year-old will join it on a five-year contract in a deal that is expected to cost the Spanish champions around 50 million euros ($65 million), and Vilanova hailed the player for not choosing the option to earn more money with other clubs.

"We have to congratulate the secretarial team for the signing of Neymar," he said at a press conference after Barca's 2-0 defeat of Espanyol on Sunday night.

"He is a significant signing and we have been very aware of him for a long time because we knew he could receive better offers from others.

"I also congratulate Neymar for choosing a sporting project and not an economic one. I have confidence that he is going to do well in Europe and he is going to help us be better."

Vilanova also dismissed claims that Neymar is more of a flashy player, more capable of eye-catching flicks and tricks than delivering effectively for the team.

"If they say Neymar is a YouTube player, that is a good thing because he scores great goals and makes great plays," he said.

"He has chosen Barcelona because he thinks he can adapt well to this style of play. It is a dream to have a striker like this. The more better players we have, the better our chances will be of winning.

"Now we have to combine everyone in the best way, like we have done in the past."

Barca's victory in the Catalan derby also eased it to within three points of Real Madrid's record 100 points tally from last season.

(China Daily 05/28/2013 page22)

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