13 fun facts about Neymar

Everything you need to know about the Brazilian superstar!

Neymar was born on February 5, 1992, in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo, Brazil. He began playing football at a young age and joined the youth academy at Santos FC when he was just 11 years old.

He made his professional debut for Santos in 2009 at the age of 17 and quickly established himself as one of the most promising young talents in Brazilian football. He helped Santos win the Copa do Brasil in 2010 and the Copa Libertadores in 2011, scoring crucial goals in both tournaments.

In 2011, Neymar made his debut for the Brazilian national team and quickly became one of the team’s key players. He helped the team win the Confederations Cup in 2013 and the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Neymar’s performances for Santos and the Brazilian national team attracted the attention of top European clubs, and he eventually joined FC Barcelona in 2013.

He formed a lethal attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona, winning multiple domestic and international titles, including the Uefa Champions League in 2015.

In 2017, Neymar made a record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million, making him the most expensive player in football history at the time. He has continued to be a prolific scorer and creative force in attack for both PSG and the Brazilian national team, and he remains one of the most popular and recognizable footballers in the world.

But what are the 13 things you absolutely need to know about the attacker?

Comes from a sporting family

The Brazilian’s father, Neymar da Silva Sr., was a former footballer who played for several clubs in Brazil. Neymar’s father was also his first coach and played a significant role in his early development as a football player. He also has a younger sister named Rafaella Beckran, who is also a professional footballer. She played for Santos FC’s women’s team before retiring from football to focus on her fashion career.

100th goal on 20th birthday

Neymar scored his 100th professional goal for Santos on his 20th birthday in a league clash against Palmeiras. Unfortunately, his club lost the match 2-1.

Was close to joining Real Madrid

It is hard to believe but the former Barcelona star was very close to joining their arch-rivals Real Madrid as a 13-year-old. It so happened that Neymar along with his father had visited Madrid in 2005 and underwent a trial at the club. He was pictured at the Santiago Bernabeu and even posed in the club’s dressing room. Real Madrid were ready to sign the talented youngster and a deal was almost sealed but Santos intervened at the last moment and convinced Neymar Sr. to keep the player in Brazil.

Most expensive footballer of all time

In 2017, Neymar made another world-record transfer, this time to Paris Saint-Germain. The transfer fee of €222 million was almost double the previous record fee, and it made Neymar the most expensive player in the world by a significant margin.

Almost a West Ham player!

Premier League club West Ham United were among the first clubs to show an interest in signing the Brazilian star back in 2010. They had reportedly even placed a £16million offer with Santos but the Brazilian side did not accept it that time. He eventually went on to leave Santos in 2013 to complete his famous move to Barcelona.

A Santos icon

In 2011, Neymar led Santos to their first Copa Libertadores title in 48 years. Neymar scored six goals in the competition, including two in the final against Uruguayan side Penarol.

An Olympic gold medalist

Neymar played a crucial role in Brazil’s gold medal victory in men’s football at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro in his home country. The gold medal win was Brazil’s first ever in the men’s football event at the Olympics, and it was seen as a significant achievement for the country, which has a long and proud history in football. Neymar was the captain of the Brazilian team at the Olympics, and he scored a total of four goals in the tournament, including a crucial free-kick in the final against Germany.

After the game ended in a 1-1 draw, Neymar converted the decisive penalty kick in the shootout to secure the gold medal for Brazil. Neymar’s performance at the Olympics was widely praised, and he was seen as a key figure in Brazil’s success.

Fastest goal in Olympic history

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Neymar scored the fastest goal in Olympic football history, when he found the back of the net just 14 seconds into a match against Honduras.

Two-time South American POTY winner

Neymar has won the South American Footballer of the Year award twice in his career, 2011 and 2012.

An avid basketball fan

Neymar is known to be a fan of basketball and has been seen attending basketball games and supporting various NBA teams. In particular, he is a fan of LeBron James and has expressed his admiration for the Los Angeles Lakers star on several occasions.

In 2018, Neymar attended an NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in Houston. He has also been spotted wearing NBA jerseys, including those of James and Stephen Curry. Additionally, Neymar has occasionally posted on social media about basketball and has been known to engage in friendly banter with other footballers who are fans of the sport.

Puma deal!

In September 2020, Neymar signed a long-term partnership with the German sportswear company Puma, ending his long association with Nike. The deal is reported to be worth around €25 million per year, making Neymar one of Puma’s highest-paid ambassadors.

As part of the deal, Neymar became the face of Puma’s football division, and he has worn Puma boots in matches since October 2020. The partnership also includes a range of off-pitch collaborations, such as the Neymar Jr. Puma Collection, which features a line of clothing and footwear.

The deal was seen as a major coup for Puma, which has been trying to regain ground in the competitive football market. Neymar’s move to Puma also coincided with the launch of the company’s new “Only See Great” campaign, which aims to promote positivity and self-belief. Neymar has been featured prominently in the campaign, which has been rolled out globally across multiple media channels.

A cameo in Money Heist!

Neymar did make a cameo appearance in the popular television series La Casa de Papel. He played the role of a Brazilian monk named Monje Joao.

Third most followed footballer on Instagram

With over 200 million followers on Instagram, Neymar is the third most followed footballer on the platform.

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