Neymar could finally make PSG debut on Sunday
Brazilian soccer star Neymar waves to fans as he stands next to PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, during his official presentation to fans ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's season opening match against Amiens. The Brazil star became the most expensive player in soccer history after completing his blockbuster transfer from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($262 million) on Thursday. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
By Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — Neymar is expected to make his much-awaited debut for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday in the small Brittany town of Guingamp after French football authorities finally received his international transfer certificate.
The French Football Federation received the document from its Spanish counterpart on Friday, more than a week after PSG signed the Brazilian from Barcelona.
The French football league then told The Associated Press the ITC was submitted by the federation, and Neymar's transfer would be ratified later Friday, clearing the way for him to play at Guingamp on Sunday.
The hold-up prevented Neymar from making his PSG debut last Saturday against Amiens after completing his world-record 222 million euros ($262 million) transfer.
PSG wanted Neymar to start the season at its Parc des Princes home but his debut was delayed because of the paperwork issues. Neymar was unveiled to the PSG fans on Saturday but could only watch from the stands as his new team started its league campaign with a 2-0 win.
Barcelona said there was nothing strange about the situation and the wait was due to the banks. Just a few hours before the French federation said it had received the ITC, the 222 million euros was made available in Barcelona's accounts.
Barcelona denied speculation that slowed down the process in retaliation for PSG luring one of its biggest stars out of the Camp Nou. Barcelona said it had been waiting on the banks to complete the transaction for the massive amount of money.
PSG coach Unai Emery has yet to announce his squad for the trip to Guingamp, but wants Neymar to be playing.
"We all want him to start playing," Emery told a news conference on Friday. "We want him in the squad, and in the starting 11. He has trained well, and we have also worked on tactical aspects and set-pieces. He is ready."
AP writer Joseph Wilson contributed to this report from Barcelona, Spain.