Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, who is more commonly known solely by his first name, is one of the finest young footballers in the world. He currently plays the forward position for the Santos football club in Brazil, and he is also a member of the Brazilian national team. Because he plays forward for Santos FC and he is exceptionally talented and athletic, he is often compared to former Brazilian football great Pele, though Neymar himself prefers comparisons to Garrincho. Recently, Neymar‘s services have been highly sought by some of the world’s foremost football teams.
Neymar was born February 5, 1992 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He joined Santos at a remarkably young age in the year 2003. He made his debut with the club’s first team in March of 2009 for a win against rival club Oeste. He scored his first goal the following week in a match against Mogi Mirim. The 2010 Campeonato Paulista saw his team become champions by defeating Santo Andre in the finals. For his efforts, Neymar was given an award naming him the best player in the competition. In June of 2010, he turned down an offer to play for West Ham United, which is a team in the English Premier League. At the time, rumors swirled regarding his supposed desire to leave Santos. However, Neymar himself stated that he did not think it was the right time to leave the team.
Controversy flared in late 2011 when reports surfaced that Real Madrid had tried to sign Neymar to an agreement which would have had him leaving Santos the following year. The president of the Santos club threatened to contact FIFA in order to report the signing, but Real Madrid denied that such an agreement was ever in place. Eventually, Neymar signed an extension with Santos featuring monetary compensation similar to what European teams would have offered him. The new deal raised Neymar‘s wages by 50%, making him one of the most highly-paid Brazilian footballers.
After a fine performance in the 2009 Under-17 World Cup competition, many football fans assumed that Neymar would be chosen by coach Dunga to be a member of the Brazilian national team for the 2010 World Cup. In fact, former football stars Pele and Romario urged the coach to add Neymar to the team. Additionally, a petition, which eventually garnered 14,000 signatures, was circulated in order to get Neymar onto the team. Despite these efforts, Neymar was left off the 23 man squad. Most recently, Neymar participated in the 2011 Copa America, which was held in Argentina. Here, he scored two goals in his team’s first round game against Ecuador.
Neymar is known for his athletic play and dynamic scoring ability on the pitch. He has been described as a genius for the way he works his feet and he has impressed many with his ability to understand game situations at a level common to much more experienced players. To his detriment, he is often prone to outbursts and displays of poor temperament, though many football experts believe that he will outgrow his youthful demeanor.