Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior : Top 15 Things He Wants You To Know
Neymar is, currently, one of the greatest footballers in the world. He has achieved many footballing accolades before the age of 25. He speaks Brazilian Portuguese, he has a fine vocabulary and based on interviews with him, here are 15 things he wants you to know.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior was born in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo in February 1992. In 2003 Neymar and his family moved to Santos. Neymar's father became his advisor. At 14 years old he was inducted into the youth acadamy at Real Madrid, Spain, where they had the stars Ronaldo, Zidane, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Neymar's idol; Robinho.
Growing up, he wanted to play for Brazil and meet his idol; Robinho. He wanted to meet him because he played for Santos and they grew up in the same area. Neymar imitated Robinho's style of playing.
Futsal is played indoors on a small pitch much like 5-a-side football. In Brazil futsal is played by more people than football. Ronaldinho, Pelé, Revelino, and Zico all cut their teeth playing Futsal. It helped Neymar a lot, he says:
"You need to think quickly. It's a more dynamic game and helped a lot when progressing onto the football pitch."
Ousadia means daring. To dare to do something new and exciting. Alegria; Happy or happiness. To play for Barcelona. Neymar and his friend made these two words their motto for life. Ousadia and Alegria.
In 2009, at 17 years old, Neymar made is professional debut for Santos FC. The record for the top goalscorer for Santos is Pelé. So following in his footsteps is not a bad start.
Santos' Star Player
While still in his teens Neymar had already won lots of medals, cups and scored goals. In video games, there are a lot of dribbles and moves you can do and Neymar, with his teammates, would try these out while training.
In 2010 during a game against Goianiense, Neymar is fouled and the instructions from the bench are Neymar is not taking the penalty. Neymar sulked, big time. Santos dropped him for one game, but Santos' coach, Dorival Júnior, wants him dropped for the derby game against the Corinthians. The Santos board sides with their star player and Júnior is shown the door.
"Everything I've learned from that episode marked my life and I will take it with me always. I hope to never commit the same mistake."
English Premier League club, West Ham United were the first club to offer a £12m bid for Neymar. This was followed by a £20m bid by Chelsea in 2010. Neymar says no. His father helps him with all the financial aspects as well as being his advisor.
2010 World Cup
Both Pelé and Romário urged the Brazilian manager, Dunga, to take Neymar to the World Cup in South Africa. Dunga refused saying that he had not got enough experience.
Signing For Barca
In the summer of 2013 Neymar transferred to Barcelona. He was now an established Brazilian national team player. They won silver in the men's tournament at the London 2012 Olympics, where Neymar scored two goals.
Dani Alves has helped Neymar a lot at Barcelona and Scolari (Brazilian coach) has always given him freedom to play football.
Neymar cried when he first discovered he was going to be a father. The mother gave birth to his son, David Lucca, in 2011 and now Neymar enjoys being a father, although he is not in a relationship with David's mother, Carolina Dantas.
Neymar Match Attax Topps Card
"It's hard to balance the pressure of being young. The sponsors, the fans and, of course, winning the game. I have to follow a line, I'm a professional player, I have to resist some things to get ahead in the future. That's my line."
Neymar is the only Brazilian athlete to have his portrait on the front cover of Time Magazine, which is certainly a big achievement before his 21st birthday.
Of his fame he jokes: "I can wear a hat, wig or moustache and everyone will notice." In 2012 he was recognized as the 7th richest footballer in the world.
Neymar tries to perfect everything. Dribbling, passing, headers, shooting and control. He is an all round great footballer. He trains and practises all aspects of playing football, which is obvious when you see him play. He can defend, play midfield and is a fantastic striker, evident by the amount of goals he has scored already.
2014 World Cup
In the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, Neymar helped Brazil to get to the semi-final, but he was injured in the quarter-final win against Columbia and was out for the rest of the tournament. His absence was felt enormously when Brazil suffered their worst ever defeat against the German team, losing 7-1.
"We had the chance to be champion in our country and we failed. We didn't get it right, we fell short. We know we had a good campaign, but we did not play our best."
"We did not show how good Brazilian football is, its superiority and charm, but we have to look at this last match as if it were the final."
"Victory won't assimilate all the pain we feel today, but it is important."
It won't be Neymar's last World Cup. There is a lot more to come from this footballer yet and we should consider ourselves lucky to be able to watch this footballing star.