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'Neymar didn't join Barca for money': Vilanova

AFP/The Local · 27 May 2013, 08:55

Published: 27 May 2013 08:55 GMT+02:00

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The Catalan club confirmed on Sunday that the 21-year-old will join them on a five-year contract in a deal that is expected to cost the Spanish champions around €50 million ($65m, £43m) and Vilanova hailed the player for not choosing the option to earn more money at 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."

And 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 added.

"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."

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Barca's victory in the Catalan derby also eased them to within three points of Real Madrid's record 100 points tally from last season, a record that Vilanova is now keen to match when they host Malaga next weekend.

"When I started to hear about this record we were very far away from it and it was best not to talk about these things.

"Now we are just one game, one victory away and we have to try and do it."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

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