"I'm coming to Barca to win the Champions League"
Neto began the morning signing his contract until 30th June 2023 in the President Suñol VIP area at the Camp Nou accompanied by the current Barca president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. He then posed with his new shirt, the number 13 he has taken off Jasper Cillessen, in front of the media.
However, Neto could not pose in front of fans as Frenkie de Jong did last week because everything was done behind closed doors. This was due to the fact that the club have started to relay the Camp Nou pitch.
Then in the press conference, the Brazilian international semed euphoric: "In these moments I am the happiest person in the world. I come to a club which I have dreamt about as a player, and being here is a reason of great joy for me."
"Barca's repercussion is very big and it's a honour to be at a club which wants to win the Champions League every year. I was in a team which lost a Champions League final and the reason for coming to Barca is the challenge of winning the Champions League. I want to help my teammates achieve it," Neto continued.
Barca have paid Valencia 26 million euros for him plus 9 million in variables and they have put a 200 million buyout clause on him. Bartomeu explained the swap deal with Cilessen for whom Valencia will also pay 35 million. He denied that the main reason was to balance the books for last season.
"Cilessen told us a while back that he wanted to leave the club. Some offers came in, but he did not like any of them because he wanted to play the Champions League until Valencia came calling. At that moment, we studied the idea of Inaki Pena getting promoted to the first team, but the coaches thought that to improve, he needs to play. And looking for a goalie in the market, Neto was the best there was. We knew he wanted to leave Valencia and we know him well because we have suffered against him in the past.
The Barca president admitted, nevertheless, that the move also had a financial reason to it "because we board members have the obligation to balance the books for the season and keep within the budget."
After his time at Fiorentina and Juventus, Neto signed for Valencia two seasons ago and now he accepts 'the challenge" of playing for Barca. "My time at Valencia had come to an end and I had the chance to come to Barcelona and be part of their history at a time when I feel I'm very good as a footballer," he justified.
He knows that he will have to battle with the German Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the number one spot. The German is considered one of the best keepers at this moment in time, but he is untroubled by the fact he will be the number two.
"What has led me to accept this challenge is the interest in improving and to keep on growing. I am coming to show my personality, my ambition and my form of working. I respect Marc, but the more we up the standard, the better, and I have come here to try and find my place in the team," he concluded.