Neymar

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Neymar
Neymargoldenball.jpg
Neymar with Brazil, holding the Golden Ball for best player at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Personal information
Full nameNeymar da Silva Santos Júnior [1]
Date of birth(1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 (age 21)[1]
Place of birthMogi das Cruzes, Brazil[1]
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Playing positionForward / Winger
Club information
Current clubBarcelona
Number11
Youth career
1999–2003Portuguesa Santista
2003–2009Santos
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2009–2013Santos103(54)
2013–Barcelona16(6)
National team
2009Brazil U173(1)
2011Brazil U207(9)
2012Brazil U237(4)
2010–Brazil46(27)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:56, 12 January 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
 
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Neymar
Neymargoldenball.jpg
Neymar with Brazil, holding the Golden Ball for best player at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Personal information
Full nameNeymar da Silva Santos Júnior [1]
Date of birth(1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 (age 21)[1]
Place of birthMogi das Cruzes, Brazil[1]
Height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Playing positionForward / Winger
Club information
Current clubBarcelona
Number11
Youth career
1999–2003Portuguesa Santista
2003–2009Santos
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2009–2013Santos103(54)
2013–Barcelona16(6)
National team
2009Brazil U173(1)
2011Brazil U207(9)
2012Brazil U237(4)
2010–Brazil46(27)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:56, 12 January 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Portuguese pronunciation: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar, is a Brazilian footballer who plays for La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Brazilian national team, as a forward or winger.

At the age of 19, Neymar won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award, after coming third in 2010.[2] He followed this up by winning it again in 2012. In 2011 Neymar received nominations for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, where he came 10th, and the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year, which he won.[3] He is known for his acceleration, speed, dribbling, finishing and ability with both feet. His playing style has earned him critical acclaim, with fans, media and former players drawing comparison to former Brazil forward Pelé, who has called Neymar "an excellent player", while Ronaldinho states "he will be the best in the world".[4][5][6]

Neymar joined Santos in 2003 and, after rising through the ranks, was promoted to their first team squad. He made his debut for Santos in 2009, and was voted the Best Young Player of the 2009 Campeonato Paulista. Further honours followed, with Neymar being voted best player as Santos won the 2010 Campeonato Paulista, and also being top scorer in the 2010 Copa do Brasil with 11 goals. He finished the 2010 season with 42 goals in 60 games as his club achieved the Double. Neymar was again voted best player of the year in 2011 as his side retained the state title and Santos also winning the 2011 Copa Libertadores in which Neymar scored 6 goals in 13 appearances. He also played a key role in securing a Continental Double for his team, Santos' first since 1963. He received the Bronze Ball in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, with Santos making it to the final, where they were defeated 4–0 by Barcelona.[7][8]

Neymar has represented Brazil at Under-17, Under-20 and senior levels. On 10 August 2010, at the age of 18, he made his debut for the Seleção in a friendly match against the United States; he scored from a header in the 28th minute, contributing to Brazil's 2–0 win. Neymar was the top scorer of the 2011 South American Youth Championship with nine goals, including two in the final, in the 6–0 win against Uruguay, helping Brazil to win their eleventh title in the competition. Neymar was selected as part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup on home soil. For the tournament he was assigned the iconic number 10 shirt. On 30 June, Neymar scored Brazil's second goal in the 3–0 final win over Spain. Neymar's performances saw him awarded the golden ball for the best player of the tournament.[9] In 2012 and 2013, SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in the world.[10] In December 2013, Neymar was ranked by The Guardian as the sixth best footballer in the world.[11]

Early life

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior was born in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, to Neymar da Silva, Sr. and Nadine Santos. He inherited his name from his father, who is a former footballer and became his son's advisor as Neymar's talents began to grow.[12] Neymar comments on his father's role "My father has been by my side since I was little. He takes care of things, my finances and my family."[13] Growing up, Neymar combined his love of futsal with street football.[14]

In 2003, Neymar moved with his family to São Vicente, where he began playing for youth side Portuguesa Santista.[15] Then, later in 2003, they moved to Santos, where Neymar joined Santos FC.[16] With the success of his youth career and added income, the family bought their first property, a house next to the Vila Belmiro. Their quality of family life improved, as at age 15, Neymar was earning 10,000 reais per month and at 16, 125,000 reais per month. At 17, he signed a full professional contract, getting upgraded to the Santos first team and even receiving sponsorships.[17]

Club career

Santos

Youth

Neymar began playing football at an early age and he was soon spotted by Santos FC, who offered him a contract in 2003, where he was inducted into their youth academy, which has, in the past, produced Brazilian internationals like Coutinho, Clodoaldo, Diego, Elano and Alex. He also joined the likes of Pepe, Pelé and Robinho in starting out his career at Peixe (the football club's nickname).[18] While in the youth academy, Neymar met Paulo Henrique Ganso, becoming good friends in the process. He has one sister that did not play football.

At the age 15, he travelled to Spain in order to join Real Madrid, at the time when Real had stars like Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Robinho.

2009 season

Neymar made his professional debut on 7 March 2009, despite being only 17 years old; he was brought on for the last thirty minutes, in a 2–1 win against Oeste.[14] The following week he scored his first goal for Santos against Mogi Mirim. One month later, on 11 April, Neymar scored the decisive goal in a 2–1 win against Palmeiras in the 2009 Campeonato Paulista semi-final first leg.[19] In the final, however, Santos suffered a 4–2 aggregate defeat to the Corinthians.[20] In his first season, Neymar racked up 14 goals in 48 games.[14]

2010 season

Neymar continued his ascendancy in 2010, and, on 15 April 2010, he scored five goals for Santos in an 8–1 rout of Guarani in the qualifying stages of the Brazilian Cup.[21] Following the 2010 Campeonato Paulista in which Neymar scored 14 goals in 19 games,[18] the club were crowned champions after a 5–5 aggregate win over Santo André in the finals.[22] Neymar was subsequently given the award for the best player in the competition.[23] Neymar's performances for Santos have drawn comparisons to other Brazilians, including Robinho and Brazilian legend Pelé.[24]

In 2010, Santos rejected a £12 million bid for him from English Premier League team West Ham United,[25] and later an offer from another English club Chelsea, reported to be in the region of £20 million.[26] Despite Santos unwillingness to sell and Neymar himself insisting "I'm focused only on Santos",[27] his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, indicated that Neymar’s career was elsewhere, stating "He wants to become the best player in the world. The chances of him doing that while playing in Brazil are zero."[26] Although one year later Neymar admitted, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, that he had been happy with Chelsea's interest in him as it was a "dream" of his "to play in Europe", whilst also stating that at the time it had been the right decision to stay in Brazil.[28]

On 30 November 2010, Santos sold a 5% share of future transfer fees that he would receive to an investment group, Terceira Estrela Investimentos S.A. (TEISA), for R$ 3,549,900 (€1.5 million).[29] The previous year, his family had sold a 40% stake in Neymar's sporting rights to the DIS Esporte group who had been a long-term strategic partner of Santos' football club.[30]

Despite his first two seasons being highly successful, having ended the 2010 season with an impressive 42 goals in 60 games, problems had been identified, namely Neymar's apparent taste for diving when tackled, rather than attempting to continue his run, and his attitude. The latter came to the forefront during a match with Goianiense, on 15 September 2010, when the Santos' manager, Dorival Júnior, appointed another player to take the penalty awarded for a foul on Neymar. His decision was based on the fact that Neymar had missed a crucial penalty during the Copa do Brasil final of that year, even if Santos went on to win. Reacting to this, Neymar turned his back on his manager, had to be calmed down by a linesman and argued with his captain, Edu Dracena. The fallout from this event was that Dorival Junior wished to have Neymar suspended for two weeks, but the board sided with the player and promptly sacked the manager. Despite Neymar's apologies over the incident, some doubts still remain about his attitude.[14] On 30 December 2010, Neymar came in third for the 2010 South American Footballer of the Year, behind Andrés D'Alessandro and Juan Sebastián Verón.

2011 season

Neymar playing for Santos against FC Barcelona in the final of the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.
Neymar in 2011

Neymar scored six goals during Santos run to the 2011 Copa Libertadores Finals, tying him for third top goalscorer,[31] including the clinching goal of Santos' 4–3 aggregate win over Cerro Porteño in the semifinals.[32] In the two-legged final, Santos faced Uruguayan side Peñarol and drew the first leg 0–0 in Montevideo.[33] At home in the second leg, Neymar opened the scoring in the 46th minute as Santos held on for a 2–1 win and Neymar won Man of the Match honours.[34][35] The win brought Santos their first Copa Libertadores triumph since 1963, when Brazilian legend Pelé was playing for the club.[36][37]

In September 2011, Santos president Luis Ribeiro threatened to report Real Madrid to FIFA following reports that they had attempted to sign Neymar to a pre-contract agreement and denied that such an agreement was in place.[38] On 9 November 2011, Neymar and Santos agreed to a contract extension that would see the player stay with the club until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The deal reportedly increased Neymar's wages by 50%, to the levels that top European clubs would be paying him.[39] On 14 December 2011, Neymar scored the opening goal for Santos as they defeated Kashiwa Reysol 3–1 in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup at the Toyota Stadium in Toyota, Japan, but failed to score against Barcelona in the final on 18 December 2011, where Santos were defeated 4–0, finishing as runners up in the competition.[40] He won the 2011 FIFA Puskás Award for scoring a sensational solo goal in the Brasileirão Série A against Flamengo, in a 5–4 loss. On 31 December 2011, he won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award for the first time, by a record margin, following in the footsteps of Diego Maradona, Romário, Pelé and Zico.

2012 season

On 5 February 2012, when he turned 20, he scored his 100th goal as a professional football player, against Palmeiras in the Campeonato Paulista.[41][42] On 25 February 2012, Neymar scored two goals, one of whom from 25-yards and assisted with two, to help his side to a 6–1 win over Ponte Preta.[43] On 7 March 2012, Neymar netted a hat-trick as Santos saw off Brazilian rivals Internacional 3–1 in the Copa Libertadores Group stage match.[44] On 29 March, he scored a brace against Guaratinguetá in a 5–0 victory.[45] In the fixture against São Paulo on 29 April 2012, Neymar scored a hat-trick with the match ending 3–1.[46] Thereafter, he went on to score twice in the 1st[47] and 2nd legs[48] in the 2012 Campeonato Paulista Finals against Guarani, which ended 7–2 on aggregate. Neymar finished the 2012 Campeonato Paulista with 20 goals and being voted the Best player and Best Forward, with Santos being crowned champions of the tournament. He was joint top scorer in the Copa Libertadores with 8 goals, after Santos were beaten over two legs by eventual champions Corinthians in the semi-finals.

On 25 August 2012, he scored a brace in the 2–1 away win at Palmeiras.[49] On 3 November 2012, in the Brasileiro Série A away fixture at Cruzeiro, Neymar scored a hat-trick and assisted Felipe Anderson's goal, to help his side to a 4–0 win.[50] Neymar finished off the 2012 season in style, first setting-up Victor Andrade's equaliser, then scoring twice, to give Santos a 3–1 home win over Palmeiras on 1 December 2012.[51] Neymar was voted the Best player of the 2012 Recopa Sudamericana, Neymar scoring in the second leg to win the title 2–0 on aggregate. He finished the 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A with 14 goals and being voted the Best forward. Neymar finished the 2012 season, being award the Golden Ball, Arthur Friedenreich Award and Armando Nogueira Trophy. He was one of three finalists in the 2012 FIFA Puskás Award and finished runners-up behind Miroslav Stoch. He won the 2012 South American Footballer of the Year, retaining his award and winning it ahead of the likes of Ronaldinho. Reports emerged in 2011 that Santos reached an agreement with Barcelona to sign him at a later stage. However, Neymar rejected this in an interview, saying that he had "no agreement with Barcelona or anyone else".[52]

2013 season

Neymar started the 2013 Campeonato Paulista scoring twice in the first match, which ended a 3–1 win over São Bernardo on 19 January 2013.[53] Four days later on 23 January 2013, Neymar scored again against Botafogo in a 3–0 win.[54] On 3 February 2013, in the Paulista fixture against São Paulo, where Santos won 3–1, with Neymar scoring and making two assists.[55] on 18 March 2013, Neymar told that he had a "dream of playing in Europe, for a big club like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea." But he went on to say: "There's no point in speculating when I'll leave Santos. I'll leave when I want to."[56]

On 13 April 2013, Neymar inspired Santos to a 4–0 thumping of União Barbarense, scoring all four goals in the Campeonato Paulista clash.[57]

On 25 April 2013, his agent and father revealed that Neymar intended to leave for Europe before 2014 FIFA World Cup.[58]

Neymar played his last match for Santos in a goalless draw against Flamengo on 26 May 2013, and he was clearly moved. During the national anthem before the game at Brasília, Neymar struggled to keep his emotions in check with tears rolling down his face.[59]

Barcelona

Neymar during his unveiling as a Barcelona player in 2013.

On 24 May 2013, Santos announced that they had received two offers for Neymar.[60] The following day, Neymar announced he would sign with FC Barcelona on 27 May 2013 and join the team after playing in the 2013 Confederations Cup. Neither Neymar nor the clubs released details on the transfer fee or personal terms, except to say he signed a five-year deal.[61] On 3 June 2013, Neymar was unveiled by Barcelona after passing medical tests and signing a contract that would keep him at the club through June 2018.[62] Neymar was presented at the Nou Camp in front of 56,500 fans a record turnout for a Brazilian player[63] Club vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu said Neymar's transfer fee was €57 million (£48.6m) (making him the 10th overall highest transfer) and his release clause was set at €190 million.[64] However, concerns remain that Neymar may be too lightweight for the transition to European football, and may need to bulk up in order to reach his peak physical condition.[65]

Transfer investigation

The procecuter's office in Madrid are investigating the transfer that Barcelona paid for Neymar.[66] The documents submitted to the authorities on request contained contradictory information.[66] The reported transfer fee was €57 million.[66] But €40 million "supposedly have flowed to a company which is close to Neymar family."[66] This is what they are using to "justifies an investigation into whether the allegations are true."[66] Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is accused of "in connection with the transfer of embezzlement."[66]

2013–14 season

On 30 July 2013, Barcelona drew 2–2 against Lechia Gdańsk in a preseason friendly; this was Neymar's unofficial debut with the team, and he came on as a substitute.[67] On 7 August 2013, Neymar scored his first goal in a Barcelona shirt during a 7–1 friendly win over the Thailand national team in Bangkok.[68]

Neymar made his competitive debut for Barcelona during the opening game of the 2013–14 La Liga season as a 63rd minute substitute in a 7–0 win against Levante UD.[69] On 21 August, he scored his first competitive goal for the club in the first leg of the 2013 Supercopa de España against Atlético Madrid.[70] On 18 September, he made his UEFA Champions League debut, assisting a Gerard Piqué goal as Barça beat AFC Ajax 4–0 in their opening match of the 2013–14 tournament.[71] On 24 September, Neymar scored his first goal in La Liga in Barça's 4–1 defeat of Real Sociedad at Camp Nou.[72]

On 26 October 2013, Neymar scored the opening goal in his first El Clásico appearance as Barça beat Real Madrid 2–1 at Camp Nou.[73] Later in the match he assisted the team's winning goal scored by Alexis Sánchez.[73]

On 11 December 2013, Neymar recorded his first three Champions League goals as he scored a hat-trick in a 6–1 win over Celtic in Barça's final Group H match.[74]

International career

Neymar at a press conference for Brazil.
Neymar celebrates his goal for Brazil against Scotland, on 27 March 2011, with André Santos and Ramires.
Neymar (right) with Cafú (left) and Ganso.
Neymar playing against Scotland

Following Neymar's performances for Brazil's U-17 team at the 2009 U-17 World Cup in which he scored a goal in the opening match against Japan,[75] former Brazilian football players Pelé and Romário reportedly urged coach Dunga to take Neymar to the 2010 World Cup.[27][76] Although the widespread opinion that Neymar deserved a place in Dunga's squad went as far as a 14,000 signature petition,[27][77] and despite the huge pressure on Dunga to pick Neymar,[78] he was omitted from both the squad of 23,[79][80] and the stand-by list.[81] Although Dunga described Neymar as "extremely talented", he claimed that he had not been tested sufficiently on the international level to earn a World Cup spot and he had failed to impress enough while on international duty.[82][83]

On 26 July 2010, Neymar was selected for the first time in the Brazil senior team by new head coach Mano Menezes for a friendly match against the United States to be played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. On 10 August 2010 he made his debut with the national team in that game, aged 18 years old, starting the match and wearing the number 11 jersey. He scored on his debut after 28 minutes, a header coming from an André Santos cross in a 2–0 win for Brazil.[84] On 1 March 2011, Neymar said: "Being on the Brazilian team is a privilege, There are some marvelous players and I'm very happy to be among them."[13] On 27 March 2011, he scored twice in a 2–0 win against Scotland at the Emirates Stadium.[85] During the match against Scotland, a banana was thrown onto the pitch after he scored from the penalty spot, which led Neymar to complain about 'constant jeering and an atmosphere of racism', implying that Scottish fans exhibited racism.[86][87] While Scottish officials explained that Neymar had been booed solely for perceived injury-feigning, a German student who was in the station amongst Brazil supporters said that he threw the banana with no racist intentions. This led to the Scottish Football Association asking the Brazilian Football Confederation for an apology for the accusations made to the Scottish fans.[88][89] Neymar refused to apologise or retract his words claiming he 'did not accuse any person or any group of supporters'.[90][91][92]

2011 Copa América

Neymar took part at the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, where he scored two goals in the first round game against Ecuador. He was selected 'Man of the Match' in Brazil's first match against Venezuela, which ended a 1–1 draw. Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot-out against Paraguay (2–2 a.e.t.), with Neymar being substituted in the 80th minute.

2012 Summer Olympics

On 11 May 2012, Neymar was selected in the squad for the Brazil Olympic football team to participate in the London 2012 Olympic Games.[93][94] In Brazil's first warm-up match on 20 July 2012, against the host nation Great Britain at Riverside Stadium, Neymar was involved in both goals of a 2–0 win, first making an assist in the opener after floating a free-kick into the six-yard box for Sandro's header, before converting a penalty.[95] On 26 July 2012, Neymar scored his first goal of the 2012 Summer Olympics in Brazil's opening fixture against Egypt, which ended a 3–2 victory for Brazil.[96] In the following match against Belarus, Neymar scored a free-kick from 25-yards into the top-right corner of the goal and set up goals for Alexandre Pato's header with a cross from the right and Oscar with a back heel as Brazil secured their place in the quarter-finals with a 3–1 win. Afterwards he said: "I scored and made two assists so for me it was perfect".[97][98]

On 5 August 2012, in the quarter-final encounter against Honduras, Neymar scored a penalty, his third goal of the tournament and assisted in Leandro Damião's second goal on the match, to help Brazil to a 3–2 victory at St James' Park and book a place in the semi-finals.[99]

2013 Confederations Cup

Neymar was selected as part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup on home soil. For the tournament he was assigned the iconic number 10 shirt, having previously worn 11.[100]

On 15 June 2013, Neymar scored the first goal of the tournament in a 3–0 win over Japan at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha.[101] In 19 June 2013, Neymar scored in the ninth minute and assisted one for to give Brazil a 2–0 win over Mexico.[102] Neymar maintained his record of scoring in each match at the tournament with a free-kick that helped Brazil to a 4–2 win over Italy on 22 June 2013.[103]

On 30 June, Neymar scored Brazil's second goal in the 3–0 final win over Spain. Neymar's performances saw him awarded the golden ball for the best player of the tournament.[9]

Style of play

Neymar with Lionel Messi after the final of the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.

Neymar primarily plays as either a forward, winger or occasionally as an attacking midfielder and has been described as "a true phenomenon".[104] He often plays as a striker for both club and country in the team's 4–3–3 formation and drifting occasionally onto the flanks due to his energetic pace and playmaking skills. His dribbling skills, technical and playmaking ability are reminiscent of compatriot Ronaldinho. Neymar's common exemplary traits are his creativity, passing, clinical finishing, exceptional dribbling and technical ability, being described as both "electric" and "explosive".[105] He commented on his attributes saying: "I'm always trying to perfect everything – dribbling, shooting, headers and control. You can always improve".[13] Neymar also said that he aspired to be like his idols, Real Madrid Forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and FC Barcelona's midfielders Andrés Iniesta and Xavi. By saying: "I like to watch good football so I like to watch good players. I like Cristiano Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi and Wayne Rooney."

The media have often drawn comparisons between Neymar and Brazilian Legend Pelé, as Neymar possesses similar attributes and also like Pelé came from the Santos Youth Academy and turned heads with his skill. Neymar has said that Pelé is his "role model" but also saying: "I don't like to make comparison with Pelé".[106] On 11 April 2012, during the celebrations for the 100 years of Santos, when asked by journalists about Lionel Messi, Pelé said he felt that Neymar was better: "Now everyone is talking about Messi; he is a star. But [to be the best ever] he must first become better than Neymar," Pelé said. "At the moment Messi is just more experienced."[107] Brazilian star Ronaldinho has also tipped Neymar on becoming the best player in the world: “Neymar is young though, and I can't explain how special he will become. In the next two or three seasons he will become the best player."[108] Another Brazilian star, retired World Cup winner Ronaldo also believes that Neymar can become the best in the world: "Logically, Messi is better right now but Neymar is a great talent who will show the world that he will be number one".[109] Former Real Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano has also praised Neymar, stating: "I like Neymar a lot. Many of his individual actions result in a goal and often it's a move that only seems to be happening with him on the pitch."[110] FC Barcelona star Xavi also stated that Neymar "is a great player, has a very good attitude, and will go on to be the best player in the world." [111] However, Neymar also has been known and criticised for his diving when tackled. For which Pelé has told: "He is a player with a body that can't take a lot of hits. [...] A lot of times he will fall because he can't do anything else, but he was overdoing it." He continued: "Even when he is fouled, he can't make a spectacle out of it".[112]

Neymar's increasing reputation led both the media and former great players to draw comparisons between Neymar and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, which Neymar has commented on saying: "Messi is above everyone, there is no use comparing me with him. [...] He is the best player in the world and I always get inspired when I watch good football."[113] Ronaldo said: “Neymar is a great talent, the best we have in Brazil. He is very similar to Messi.” Zico said: “I see Neymar like a Ronaldo or a Messi, the type who appears and makes things happen.”[114] After his hat-trick against Internacional 3–1 in Copa Libertadores and Messi's five goals scored in the Champions League, Neymar said: "I am a Messi fan. I was told what he did today. I support him to score a lot of nice goals so I can keep copying and imitating him."[115]

Outside football

Personal life

Neymar (far left) with Lucas Moura (second from left), Ganso (far right) and President Dilma Rousseff after the draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Neymar became a father to a baby boy in August 2011, at the age of 19. The baby, David Lucca, was born in São Paulo.[116] The name of the mother of the child has not been released and Neymar is not in a relationship with her. Neymar was quoted as saying "I cried when I learned that I would be his father. At first, I felt fear. Then joy. It is a new responsibility and I am now enjoying it."[117] He later described the birth of his baby boy as "2.8 kilograms of pure happiness" and also said "Mother and baby are in good condition just after childbirth".[118][119]

Since 2013, Neymar has been dating the Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine.[120][121]

Wealth

In 2012, France Football ranked Neymar at 7th in its list of the world's richest footballers, behind the likes of Lionel Messi (1st) and Cristiano Ronaldo (3rd), with a combined income from salaries, bonuses and off-field earnings of £11 million (€13.8 million).[122][123]

Sponsorships

Neymar has signed many sponsorships as his reputation rapidly grew from the age of 17. In March 2011, he signed an 11-year contract with American sportswear company Nike.[124] In the same month, Panasonic paid US$2.4 million to secure Neymar's services for two years. He has also signed other sponsorships from Volkswagen, Tenys Pé Baruel, Lupo, Ambev, Claro, Unilever and Santander.[125][126][127][128] All of his sponsorships have earned him a total of an estimated €20 million per year.[17] On 8 May 2013, Neymar was rated by SportsPro magazine as the most marketable athlete in the world, ahead of Lionel Messi (2nd) and Cristiano Ronaldo (8th).[129] In November 2012 advertising agency Loducca, created Neymar's own personal brand logo,[130] featuring the N, J and R (Neymar Junior) with the N styled to match Neymar’s Brazilian shirt number 11.

Media

Neymar at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey during a match between the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Neymar was featured on the front covers of the video games Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 on the North American version, after Konami Digital Entertainment announced that he had joined Pro Evolution Soccer.[131] Neymar joined Cristiano Ronaldo as a featured cover athlete.[132][133]

On February 2013, Neymar became the first Brazilian athlete to be on a TIME cover, an achievement, given the fact that the previous eight to be featured on the front page were Brazil's former presidents and diplomats.[134] The issue included a main article by Bobby Ghosh and was titled "The Next Pelé" with the subtitle: "How the career of Brazilian football star Neymar explains his country's economy".

Controversy erupted because of a cover by Brazilian football magazine Placar that depicted Neymar on a cross. The title read "A Crucificação de Neymar" (the Crucifixion of Neymar) and subtitled: "the Brazilian ace turns scapegoat in a sport where everyone plays dirty"[135]

In April 2013, Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa released a Monica's Gang comic book featuring a younger version of Neymar (called Neymar Jr) as the main character.[136]

In May 2013, SportsPro magazine named Neymar as the most marketable athlete on the planet for the second consecutive year. He topped the list ahead of Lionel Messi, Rory McIlroy, Usain Bolt and Cristiano Ronaldo, among other sportspeople. The list measures the monetary value, the age, the force in domestic markets, the charisma and their market potential in the next three years.[10]

Music

Neymar has become an icon in promoting Brazilian modern pop music, particularly Música sertaneja. The video in which Neymar dances in the Santos locker room dancing in front of teammates to the tune of Michel Teló's hit "Ai se eu te pego!" carrying his recorder making the round of the players went viral. He made a point of performing his dance antiques to the song after scoring goals in football games and appeared live with Teló in one of the latter's concerts. He also supported sertanejo singer Gusttavo Lima performing live with Lima on renditions of the singer's hits "Balada" and "Fazer Beber". In 2012, he made cameo appearances in the music video for yet another sertanejo hit "Eu Quero Tchu, Eu Quero Tcha" by João Lucas & Marcelo. In 2013, Neymar made an appearance on a Rap music video "Pais do Futebol" from MC Guime.

Club statistics

As of 16 January 2014.[137]
ClubSeasonLeagueState LeagueCupContinentalIntercontinentalTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
BrazilBrasileirãoPaulistaCopa do BrasilCopa Libertadores1Club World CupTotal
Santos20093310123314814
201031171914811206042
20112113114136214724
2012171416201494743
2013101812412313
Total1035476531513291521225136
SpainLa LigaSupercopa de EspañaCopa del ReyChampions LeagueClub World CupTotal
Barcelona2013-141662121632611
Total1662121632611
Career total1196078541714351821251147

Honours

Club

Santos
Barcelona

National team

Brazil

Individual

References

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External links