Neymar says he is joining Barcelona

Brazilian star Neymar celebrates after scoring against China in a friendly match held at the Arruda stadium in Recife, northern Brazil, on September 10, 2012. (AFP)

Neymar said on Saturday he has made up his mind and will be joining Barcelona after the Confederations Cup.

The decision came a day after his Brazilian club, Santos, said it had accepted offers from Barcelona and Spanish rival Real Madrid, and that it was up to Neymar to pick where he wanted to play.

Neymar made the announcement on Twitter and other social media sites.

"I wouldn't be able to wait until Monday. My friends and my family already know of my decision," Neymar wrote. "On Monday I will sign a contract with Barcelona."

He said he will play his last match with Santos on Sunday against Flamengo in the team's first match in this year's Brazilian league.

"It's a different situation for me," he said. "It's sad because it's a farewell and happy because it's a new challenge."

Neymar did not give any details on the offer he and Santos accepted from Barcelona. He will join Barcelona after the Confederations Cup, as the transfer window in Europe opens in July.

The 21-year-old striker is considered the future of Brazilian football and will carry the country's hopes in the Confederations Cup next month and in the World Cup at home next year.

Neymar led Santos to its greatest run since Pele stopped playing for the club in the 1970s.

The youngster helped Santos win the 2010 Brazilian Cup, the 2011 Copa Libertadores and three straight Sao Paulo state championships. He is the club's leading scorer in the post-Pele era with 138 goals in 229 matches.

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