The FIFA World Cup 2018 is around the corner and this is the time for the most admired and followed footballers to make most of the spotlight on them and create their mark. Neymar Jr, one of the most popular footballers and arguably in the same line as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and he would be looking to play his first full World Cup after suffering a life-threatening injury in a tie against Colombia in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Career so far: Neymar began his career by playing in the Santos FC youth academy. Neymar also travelled to Spain and played for Real Madrid youth team when he was aged 14. Real Madrid had stars such as Brazilian Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, and Roberto Carlos. In his first season at Santos FC, Neymar successfully scored 14 goals in 48 matches.
Reportedly, Chelsea were looking to bring Neymar into their ranks in 2010 but were straight away rejected by the Santos team. Neymar improved his goal tally in the second season, scoring 42 goals in 60 games. Aged just 18 in 2010, Neymar ended third for the year’s best South American footballer. However, he went on to win the same award the next year in December and defended his title in 2012 as well.
On June 3, 2013, in a surprising revelation, Barcelona announced the signing of Neymar. The Brazilian had a successful run with Barcelona, winning the league twice, Champions League and Club World Cup once each, and Copa del Rey thrice. Shockingly in August 2017, Neymar decided to part ways with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to make a move to Ligue 1 giants, Paris Saint-Germain for a whopping €222 million, winning the league and Coupe de France once each with them. Currently playing in Paris, Neymar is heavily linked with a move to Barcelona rivals Real Madrid.
Family: Neymar was born to Neymar Santos Sr. (father) and Nadine da Silva (mother) in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil. Neymar had a son named Davi Lucca rumouredly with ex-girlfriend Carolina Dantas. Neymar also has a sibling sister Rafaella Beckran, whose face he has got inked on his arm and in return, Beckran has tattooed her brother’s eyes on her arm.
Interesting facts: While Neymar has certainly achieved a great deal of success in a very short span of life, it still remains to be seen if the Brazilian can finally settle with any club and whether he lives up to the reputation of being second only to Messi-Ronaldo’s legacy.