Neymar Jr is one of the most intriguing international superstars in soccer. At such a young age, he made a name for himself playing alongside Messi and representing his country, Brazil.
Quick Glance at Neymar Jr.’s Life:
- Neymar Jr. made his mark at Barcelona where he teamed up with Messi and Suarez.
- Neymar Jr. credits futsal with his sensational footwork and creativity on the soccer field.
- In 2017, Neymar Jr transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a whopping €222 million.
Now, there are rumors swirling that he may join a top MLS club like LA Galaxy. This is all speculation at this point but this would be another win in the U.S. soccer column! [jump to rumors]
Update on August 14, 2023: According to multiple sources, Paris Saint-Germain has agreed to a deal with Saudi club Al-Hilal to sell Neymar Jr. for a fee of around €90 million ($98.5M) plus add-ons.
In this article, we’ll explore the life of Neymar Jr and what makes him so special!
Early Life of Neymar Jr
Birth and Family
Neymar Jr, born Neymar da Silva Santos Jr, was born in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil on February 5, 1992.
His parents are Neymar Santos Sr. and Nadine da Silva. His father was a former soccer player who became an instrumental part of Neymar’s progression as a young kid.
Neymar Jr. was named after his father (now simply known as ‘Neymar’) and has a sister named Rafaella Beckran. His parents separated when he was just a child, and his father remarried. Neymar Jr. has a half-brother named Matheus.
Growing Up in Brazil
Neymar Jr. grew up in a poor neighborhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His passion for soccer was ignited by his father, who is an ex-player who had to cut his career short due to a devastating hip injury.
At a young age, Neymar Jr. was a big fan of futsal and contributed much of his success and style to the game. Futsal is a variant of football that is played on a smaller, outdoor or indoor court. It is popular in Brazil, and many professional players, including Neymar Jr., credit their success to playing futsal when they were young. In futsal, you don’t need grass or turf fields, it can be played on the streets which was convenient for the area Neymar Jr grew up in.
In 2003, Neymar Jr. relocated to Sao Vicente, a coastal city in Sao Paulo, where he joined the youth academy of Santos FC, one of Brazil’s most famous soccer clubs. It was here that he began to hone his skills and develop into the world-class player that he is today.
As his youth career flourished and his income increased, Neymar’s family was able to purchase their first property, a house adjacent to Vila Belmiro, the home stadium of Santos. This purchase resulted in an improvement in their family’s quality of life.
By the age of 15, Neymar was earning 10,000 reais every month (which is about $2,000/month), and by 16, his monthly income had increased to 125,000 reais (about $25,000/month). At 17, he signed his first full professional contract, was promoted to the Santos first team, and started inking his initial sponsorship deals.
Career Beginnings for Neymar Jr
Neymar Jr. began his soccer career as a young boy in São Vicente, Brazil, where he played under the guidance of his father, a former professional player. In such a short time, Neymar’s career skyrocketed.
At the age of 17, Neymar made his professional debut for Santos FC, a Brazilian football club based in the city of Santos. He quickly became one of the team’s star players, helping Santos win the Copa do Brasil in 2010 and the Copa Libertadores in 2011, which was the club’s first since 1963.
During his time at Santos FC, Neymar’s impressive performances caught the attention of fans and scouts worldwide. He was named the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012, and his exceptional skills on the field earned him comparisons to legendary Brazilian footballer, Pelé.
Brazil National Team
Neymar’s success at Santos FC also earned him a place on the Brazilian National Team. He made his debut for Brazil in 2010 and quickly became one of the team’s most important players.
Neymar’s performances for Brazil have been nothing short of outstanding.
One of Neymar’s most significant achievements with Brazil was winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. He scored the decisive penalty in the final against Germany, which gave Brazil their first-ever Olympic gold medal in football.
Neymar has also been instrumental in Brazil’s success in the Copa America. In 2019, he led Brazil to their ninth Copa America title, scoring two goals and providing three assists in the tournament. He was named the Player of the Tournament for his outstanding performances.
Neymar’s Move to Europe
Neymar Jr. made his move to Europe in 2013 when he signed with FC Barcelona. The Brazilian forward quickly became a key player for the Spanish club, forming a formidable attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
During his time at Barca, Neymar scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for the club, including a crucial goal in the 2015 Champions League Final against Juventus. Neymar’s partnership with Messi and Suarez, known as the “MSN” trio, was one of the most feared attacking trios in European soccer history.
In his four-year stint at Barcelona, Neymar won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies, and one Champions League title.
Transfer to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)
In 2017, Neymar made a shocking move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a world-record fee of €222 million. The move was met with mixed reactions, with some praising Neymar for his ambition and others criticizing him for leaving Messi and the rest of Barcelona.
In 2021, Neymar was reunited with his good pal, Messi, and they continued their dynamic play alongside the young talent, Kylian Mbappé.
Neymar’s time at PSG has been marred by injuries and controversies. Despite this, he has still managed to score 118 goals in 173 appearances for the French club. Neymar has won three Ligue 1 titles with the team, but his ultimate goal of winning the Champions League with the club has yet to be achieved.
In my opinion, I thought the move to PSG took the fun out of soccer for Neymar. I obviously don’t know him personally but he didn’t look like his old self when he was there. I can say the same for Messi as well. I think each of them had to go through it to see that the grass isn’t always greener.
Neymar’s Career Highlights
Neymar Jr. is a Brazilian professional player who has achieved numerous milestones throughout his career. Here are some of his career highlights:
Neymar has won several major trophies throughout his career. He has won domestic league titles in Brazil, Spain, and France. He has also won the UEFA Champions League and the Copa Libertadores, which is the most prestigious club competition in South America.
Additionally, he has won the Confederations Cup and the Olympic Gold Medal with the Brazilian national team.
Neymar has broken several records throughout his career. In 2013, he became the youngest player to score 100 goals in Brazilian league history.
He also holds the record for the fastest goal in Olympic history, scoring just 14 seconds into a match against Honduras at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In 2017, he became the most expensive football player in history when he was transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €222 million.
Neymar has won numerous individual awards throughout his career. He has won the Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world under the age of 21, the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year, and the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. He has also been named the South American Footballer of the Year on three occasions.
Neymar’s Playing Style
Neymar Jr is widely regarded as one of the most skillful and creative soccer players in the world. He is known for his exceptional dribbling ability, lightning speed, and quick thinking on the field. His playing style is characterized by his agility, balance, and technical proficiency.
Neymar Jr is a versatile player who can operate in multiple positions on the pitch. He is primarily a forward but can also play as a winger or attacking midfielder. His preferred position is on the left side (as an Inverted Winger) of the pitch, from where he can cut inside and unleash his trademark shots on goal.
One of the most notable aspects of Neymar Jr’s playing style is his dribbling ability. He has an uncanny knack for weaving past defenders with ease, leaving them in his wake. He has a low center of gravity and quick feet, which allows him to change direction rapidly and leave defenders behind. His dribbling style is characterized by sudden bursts of speed, quick changes of direction, and close control of the ball.
Another key aspect of Neymar Jr’s playing style is his creativity. He has a wide range of tricks and flicks up his sleeve, which he uses to bamboozle defenders and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He is also an excellent passer of the ball, with a keen eye for a through ball or a cross.
Neymar Jr is also known for his ability to score goals from a variety of positions. He has a powerful shot and can score from distance, but he is equally adept at finishing from close range. He is also a deadly penalty taker, with a high success rate from the spot.
Some players and fans find his style ‘showboating’ at times. I think it’s just his upbringing and his futsal experience as a young kid growing up in Brazil. Some of the flashy moves are almost necessary in tight spaces and it takes a special talent to pull them off.
How Tall is Neymar Jr?
One of the most frequently asked questions about Neymar Jr is his height. Neymar stands at 5 feet 9 inches which makes him pretty average for a professional soccer player in his position.
Despite his thin physical appearance, Neymar Jr has proven to be an exceptional player on the field.
It is worth noting that height is not always a determining factor in a player’s success on the field. While taller players may have an advantage in certain aspects of the game, such as heading the ball or defending against aerial attacks, shorter players like Neymar Jr can often make up for their lack of height with their exceptional speed, agility, and technical skills.
Neymar Jr.’s Net Worth
Neymar Jr is one of the wealthiest athletes globally, with an estimated net worth of $200 million as of August 2023. He has accumulated his wealth through his successful career as a professional footballer and various endorsements.
According to Forbes, Neymar Jr was ranked #3 on their list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes in 2023. He reportedly earned $80 million in salary and winnings from Al Hilal and made another $32 million from endorsements.
He has signed numerous lucrative sponsorship deals with major brands such as Nike, Red Bull, and Gillette, among others.
However, it is worth noting that Neymar Jr’s net worth has been subject to controversy and speculation. Neymar was involved in a tax fraud case in 2016, which resulted in him being found guilty and ordered to pay a substantial fine. The case centered around Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013, with the Spanish authorities accusing Barcelona of concealing part of the transfer fee.
Despite the controversies, there is no denying that Neymar Jr is one of the most successful and wealthiest soccer players. His net worth is a testament to his hard work and talent both on and off the field.
Off the Field
Neymar Jr. is not just a football superstar but also a philanthropist, a product endorser, and a controversial figure. This section explores Neymar’s off-field activities.
Neymar has been involved in several philanthropic activities. In 2011, he established the Neymar Jr. Project Institute, a non-profit organization that provides education and sports training to underprivileged children in Brazil. The institute also offers health and social services to families in need.
In addition, Neymar has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2016. He has used his platform to raise awareness about children’s rights and support UNICEF’s programs in Brazil and around the world.
Neymar signed lucrative deals with companies such as Nike, Red Bull, and Gillette. In 2022, he became the face of the new fragrance line by Diesel.
He has also been featured in several advertising campaigns, including a memorable Pepsi commercial with Lionel Messi and other soccer stars.
Neymar’s career has been marred by several controversies. As we mentioned above, in 2016, he was accused of tax evasion by the Brazilian government. He was also involved in a dispute with his former club, Barcelona, over his transfer to PSG in 2017.
Neymar has also faced allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. In 2019, a woman accused him of rape, but the case was later dropped due to lack of evidence. In 2021, he was fined for breaking COVID-19 protocols after hosting a party in Brazil.
Despite these controversies, Neymar remains one of the most popular and respected players in the world. His talent on the field and philanthropic work off the field have earned him a loyal fan base and admiration from many.
Unfortunately, Neymar has suffered multiple injuries throughout his career, which have forced him to miss several important games and even entire seasons.
One of Neymar’s most significant injuries occurred during the 2014 World Cup. In Brazil’s quarter-final match against Colombia, Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra, which forced him to miss the rest of the tournament. The injury was a massive blow to Brazil, who were heavily reliant on Neymar’s attacking prowess.
In 2018, Neymar suffered a metatarsal fracture in his right foot during a match against Marseille. The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season, including the crucial Champions League knockout stages. The following year, Neymar suffered the same injury to the same foot, which again kept him out for several weeks.
Neymar’s ankle has also been a source of concern for him. In 2022, he suffered a lateral ligament injury to his right ankle during a match against Serbia, which forced him to miss Brazil’s next game against Switzerland. Later that year, Neymar suffered another ankle injury, which kept him out for the rest of the season with Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite these injuries, Neymar has continued to perform at the highest level when he is out on the field.
Overall, Neymar’s career has been marred by injuries, but he has shown incredible resilience in bouncing back from them.
Rumors of Neymar Jr. Going to MLS (Not Happening…YET)
Neymar Jr has been the subject of numerous rumors regarding his potential move to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States. While nothing has been confirmed yet, there have been several indications that Neymar is interested in playing in the US.
In February 2022, Neymar joked about the long vacation time afforded by US leagues, indicating his desire to potentially continue his career in America. Since then, rumors have continued to swirl about a potential move to MLS, with some reports suggesting that Neymar may be considering a move as early as the 2024 season.
One of the biggest factors driving the rumors of Neymar’s potential move to MLS is his close relationship with fellow soccer superstar Lionel Messi, who recently signed with Inter Miami. Reports suggest that Messi may be trying to lure Neymar to join him in the US, with some even speculating that the two may reunite on the same team.
Despite the rumors, it’s important to note that Neymar is still under contract with PSG through June 2025.
As of now, Neymar has offers for Saudi Arabia and MLS. Only time will tell which direction he pursues.
Regardless of whether or not Neymar ultimately decides to make the move to MLS, his potential arrival would undoubtedly be a major boost for the league. With his incredible skill and star power, Neymar would be a game-changer for any team he joins, and could help raise the profile of soccer in the US even further.
10 Interesting Facts About Neymar Jr
As a recap, here are 10 interesting facts about Neymar Jr.
- Neymar Jr was born on February 5, 1992, in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil. He inherited his name from his father, who is a former player, and became his son’s mentor as Neymar Jr’s talents began to grow.
- Neymar Jr began his career playing for Portuguesa Santista, a local club in Santos, Brazil. He later joined Santos FC, where he made his professional debut in 2009 at the age of 17.
- In 2013, Neymar Jr signed with Barcelona FC, where he played alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in one of the most formidable attacking trios in history. They were known as MSN.
- In 2017, Neymar Jr made a record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million, making him the most expensive player in football history at the time.
- Neymar Jr has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball in 2014 and the UEFA Champions League top scorer award in 2015.
- Neymar Jr is known for his skill and creativity on the field, as well as his signature hairstyle and flashy fashion sense off the field.
- Neymar Jr is also involved in various charitable causes, including the Neymar Jr Institute, which provides education and sports training to underprivileged children in Brazil.
- Neymar Jr has a large following on social media, with over 211 million followers on Instagram, making him one of the most followed athletes in the world.
- Neymar Jr has been the subject of controversy throughout his career, including accusations of diving and unsportsmanlike conduct on the field. Off the field
- Off the field, Neymar was found guilty of tax evasion and was accused of sexual misconduct (but later acquitted)