Some understood, others were pissed, but most supporters of Barcelona reacted with anger and frusration on Wednesday to news that star striker Neymar was leaving, in all likelihood to PSG in the French league.
The Catalan club announced that the 25-year-old wanted the exit, insisting however that the Brazilian’s 222 million euro ($260 million) buyout clause must be met in full.
“It’s a blow,” said Javier Barranco, a 19-year-old psychology student in Barcelona.
“It hurts because I thought he was going to grow here like (Lionel) Messi, that he was going to spend his entire career here and that he would be a Barca great for life.
“The fact that money moved him more than anything else bothers me.”
“They’re professional and it’s good that they look for the best for themselves and their family. We’re talking about a lot of money,” said Ramon Urgell, a 63-year-old economist.
“Then there are emotions, and I would like him to stay.”
Jesus Reinal, a bus driver, Neymar is “another turncoat, like Figo,” the Portuguese player who abandoned Barcelona in 2000 to go to its arch-rival Real Madrid, for a then record 61 million euros.
“The club must be celebrating following this summer saga, which is embarrassing and pathetic,” said Sara Huertas, a Peruvian who supports Barcelona.
“Is it really 222 million euros? Well that’s money in the coffers, may they decide on and bring someone who’s worth it.”