Neymar is a very versatile player and can assume many roles in the field, although he primarily plays as a central striker or a winger. The most common position for him has been the left side forward position in the 4-3-3 formation used both by the Brazilian national squad and Barcelona.
His creative dribbling style, speed, game reading capabilities and both feet scoring abilities are his trademark and have given him the “he will be the best in the world” opinions from both Ronaldinho and Messi.
Neymar started his career playing for the youth academy of Santos FC, where he immediately signed a contract with the team in 2003, at the tender age of 11. Santos is a top Brazilian football team that has brought football some super starts like Pelé, Zito, Robinho, Lima, Pepe, Coutinho, Clodoaldo, Diego, Elano, Alex, among others.
Neymar went to Spain at the age of 14 to play for the youth team of Real Madrid who immediately liked Neymar and saw the potential in him, but Neymar Sr. – his father – had other ideas, and wanted him to grow in Brazil.
Neymar had his professional debut on 7 March 2009 with 17 years old for Santos FC. The week after he scored his first goal as a professional player and, by the end of his first season he already had 14 goals in 48 games played.
Neymar estreia Satos profissional
He continued to improve while in Santos and in the year after his debut he scored 42 goals in 60 matches and he was been given the award of best player in the 2010 Campeonato Paulista. In the same year Santos refused a £12million bid from West Ham and later that year refused once more a bid from Chelsea of reportedly close to £25million, as Neymar missed his first opportunities to go to Europe. To end 2010 in great style, in December he came third for the 2010 South American Footballer of the Year, behind Andrés D’Alessandro and Juan Sebastián Verón. He was only 18 at the time!
In 2011 Neymar continued his ascension in terms of style, even though his scoring record was down comparing to 2010, with 24 goals in 47 matches. He was possibily the best player playing for the Brazilian squad in the 2011 Copa América in Argentina, where Brazil was eliminated in the quarter-finals against Paraguay. He scored 6 goals in Copa Libertadores 2011 and was a main figure in Santos’ first win in the Copa since 1963 (when Pelé was playing for Santos). In the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, Santos FC lost in the final against FC Barcelona, where Neymar wasn’t able to score any goal, despite the great campaign he had done in the competition that year.
Neymar Copa America 2011
On November 2011 Neymar extended his contract until the end of 2014, increasing his salary to levels only the top European clubs are usually capable of paying. That same year he won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award.
The 2012 season brings many records for Neymar, as he scored 43 goals in 47 matches in total, with an amazing 9 goals scored in the 14 matches he played in the Copa Libertadores 2012. On his 20th birthday, Feb. 5, 2012, he scored his 100th professional goal.
Santos was the 2012 Campeonato Paulista champions and Neymar was awarded the Best player and Best Forward of the competition, with 20 goals. He was voted the Best player of 2012 Recopa Sudamericana. He also won the 2012 South American Footballer of the Year, for a second time in a row.
Neymar ended 2012 receiving 3 more awards, the Golden Ball, Arthur Friedenreich Award and Armando Nogueira Trophy.
By the end of 2012 / beginning of 2013 the first rumors arise regarding Barcelona FC interest in Neymar, although the player himself denied any arrangements between him and Barcelona.
In the 2013 season Neymar starting playing at a high level in Santos, and scoring many goals and heading to another year of records in the Brazilian leagues but, on the 25th of April 2013, his father and agent revealed that Neymar wanted to play in a top club in Europe before the 2014 FIFA Wolrd Cup.
His last match for Santos was against Flamengo on 26 May 2013, and the love that Neymar had for his team was well visible through the tears he dropped during the National anthem before the match.
On June 2013 Neymar signed a 5 year contract with FC Barcelona and he was unveiled to the Barcelona fans on the 3rd of June 2013, creating an all time Brazilian player unveil attendance record of 56.500 fans. His transfer fee is still a sensitive issue and some investigations by the prosecutor’s office were undertaken on this issue, but at the time it was stated that he was transferred for a total of €57m and his release clause was set at €190m. His salary raised to around €17.6m per year and in 2014 he received a whopping €16m in endorsements from Nike, Panasonic, Volkswagen and others.
Neymar Barcelona presentation
During the 2013/2014 season in Barcelona Neymar scored a total of 15 goals in 41 matches, including 9 goals in La Liga and 4 in the Champions League. He scored his first goal in a “Classico” in the 2-1 win against Real Madrid on the 26th October 2013.
At the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Neymar was the shiniest Brazilian star until he got injured in the Quarter-finals game against Colombia and was not able to play on the Semi-finals, in which Brazil ended up being eliminated (and humiliated) by the soon to be world champion Germany’s super squad. Some speculated that this would be different in case Neymar would have played, so was Neymar’s influence on the Brazilian national team. Neymar ended up the WC2014 being awarded man of the match in 2 out of the 5 matches and scored a total of 4 goals.
At the end of the World Cup 2014 Neymar already had a total of 36 goals scored in 56 matches representing his country.
The 2014/2015 season is now at the start, so we will update his biography at the end of the season.
As a son of a professional soccer player with limited success, Neymar followed his father’s footsteps since a kid, developing his passion for football playing in the streets and indoor halls, and always supported by both parents. The constant good mood of his parents and their strong religion belief was successfully transmitted to their son Neymar, who is usually seen in pictures showing a smiley face and playing around with his colleagues.
Neymar dated Carolina Dantas, and later on, while they were already separated, he became father of her son – David Lucca – who was born in São Paulo on the 24th of August 2011. The mother was just 17 years old at the time of the birth.
Neymar David Lucca birth
On 2013 and periods of 2014 he dated Bruna Marquezine and there were rumors saying he had a relation with Gabriella Lenzi somewhere during 2014. By the end of 2014 it is not clear who he is actually dating.
Neymar is a confessed devoted Cristian. The posts he usually writes in his instagram and twitter pages show that devotion. In early 2014 he wrote in a comment to a selfie “Obrigado, Jesus por mais um dia de alegria Obrigado, Jesus por mais um dia de vitória Obrigado, Jesus por conceder sabedoria E de mudar a minha história Obrigado, meu Jesus Obrigado,Jesus por me ajudar o mal vencer Obrigado, meu Jesus por meu direito de viver Obrigado, Jesus por todo bem que o Senhor faz E de me dar saúde e paz” which means “Thank You Jesus for another day of joy. Thank You Jesus for another day of victory. Thank You Jesus for conceding knowledge and changing my history. Thank You my Jesus. Thank You Jesus for helping me beat evil. Thank you my Jesus for my right to life. Thank You Jesus for all the good the Lord does and for giving me health and peace.”.
Supposedly his believe in Christ has set him to donate 10% of all his earnings all his life, since he was a kid.