More than 50,000 were at the Nou Camp when Neymar was signed in 2013
BARCELONA unveiled new signing Paulinho at the Nou Camp on Thursday.
But unlike when Neymar arrived to 56,500 screaming fans in 2013, Paulinho’s welcome was rather more mooted.
The former Tottenham midfielder, signed for a baffling £36million from Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, managed to attract just 2,000 supporters to the massive stadium.
Barca fans are in the midst of a deep gloom at the moment.
Having seen bitter rivals Real Madrid win La Liga and retain the Champions League last season, the fans expected the club to strengthen.
But things hit rock bottom – relatively – earlier this month when Neymar was sold for a record shattering £198million to Paris Saint-Germain.
The club lost 5-1 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the Super Cup, with a clearly frustrated Lionel Messi blasting Real skipper Sergio Ramos during the defeat.
Barca have only made three other signings this summer, with right-back Nelson Semedo the only player likely to get regular starts under new boss Ernesto Valverde.
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Young defender Marlon Santos was signed on a permanent deal after a loan and Everton flop Gerard Deulofeu was brought back after a good spell at AC Milan.
Paulinho, 29, was a disaster in two seasons at Spurs, failing to settle to life in the Premier League.
He has enjoyed an impressive season in China this term, scoring 12 goals in 29 matches.
Paulinho said: “It’s a special moment for me. I’m grateful and I thank everyone for their efforts.”
The midfielder, who has 41 Brazil caps, underwent his medical before arriving on the pitch.
He then played a kick passing game with members of the Barca youth system.
There was a touching moment when the new boy handed balls to a fan sitting in a wheelchair.
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