Neymar Santos da Silva Junior, best known as Neymar Jr, is a brilliant Brazilian Football star who caught the attention of unwavering football fans as far back as 2003 when he was only 14 years old. As he rose through the ranks and gained fame, his fan base increased. The world seem to know so much about him because he has been in the limelight for quite some time. But, we have discovered more facts about him that may still be a little surprising to millions of his devoted fans out there. So read on to see what the star is up to.
Undisclosed Facts About Neymar Jr:
01. He Is a Father
The 23-year old footballer you all love seeing in the field has a 4-year old boy named David Lucca. He might have preferred to keep the name of his son’s mother hushed—for obvious reasons, but we at least know that the high-profile star is no longer a boy—but a father too. I guess, his son might equally be a striking footballer in 10 or 20 years to come.
02. He Is Not Among The 5 Most Expensive Players In Barcelona
The hype surrounding Neymar and his talent might have suggested otherwise, but he’s indeed not among the 5 most expensive players purchased for Barcelona. Having been bought at only 57 million pounds in 2013, he is the 9th most expensive player for Barcelona—but not the first like most of you think.
03. He Could Have Been A West Ham Player As We Speak
Before Chelsea and Barcelona took notice of him, West Ham had already made a bid of 12 million pounds to acquire him, only for Barcelona to come with a better deal and deny it the chance. In fact, it’s this bid that elevated the player to an international level and, at the same time, spurred other clubs to start taking note of him.
04. He Almost Got Signed To Real Madrid While Only 14
Real Madrid had for a long time expressed interest in acquiring Neymar, but the deal went adrift during the summers of 2011 when Santos paid a huge amount just to keep him in Brazil. Before that, he had even flown to Spain and passed all their tests as well, only to be told that he would still be playing for Santos and not Real Madrid as prearranged.
05. Barcelona And Santos Are The Only Teams He Has Ever Played For
Before Barcelona, Neymar used to play for Santos, and as it turns out, it is the only team the player has ever played for apart from Barcelona. In fact, he started playing for Santos Academy when he was only 11, and took more than 10 years to perfect on his skills before getting noticed by an international club.
06. His 100th Professional Goal Was Registered On His 20th Birthday
On February 5th 2012 (or let’s say his 20th birthday), Neymar recorded his 100th professional goal when his club at the time—Santos—was playing against Palmeiras. This marked the beginning of his successful football career. At the moment, he’s the player to keep your eyes on in all forthcoming games.
07. He Was Not Included In The Brazilian National Team For 2010 World Cup
Even after Romario and Pele insisted that he should be allowed to play for Brazil during the 2010 world cup, and even 14, 000 of his fans signing for petition, he was not included in the Brazilian team that flew to South Africa for world cup in 2010. However, his breakthrough came in August 2010 when he was allowed to play for Brazil in their friendly match against the USA.
08. He’s The Sixth Highest Paid Footballer Worldwide
Before Neymar moved to Barcelona, he struck a deal that pays him $74 million in 5 years. In 2012, Forbes named him the 3rd highest paid athlete under the age of 25, before placing him at position six as the highest paid football player in 2013. Currently, he’s the 6th richest soccer player worldwide, according to goal.com.
09. He’s The Fisrt And Only Brazilian Footballer To appear On Time Magazine Cover
Brazil has given birth to a number of sports legends, but none of them has ever been featured on TIME magazine cover. As a matter of fact, the only Brazilians to have ever appeared on the cover of this magazine were politicians. And as such, this is considered a great achievement for this 23-year old Brazilian player.
10. He’s The Most Marketable Athlete Worldwide
In 2012 and 2013 as well, he was named the most marketable athlete worldwide, beating the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Usain Bolt and Mcllroy. In fact, it’s for this reason that his portraits have been plastered on some of the world-renowned magazines, television programs and advertisements such as the Neymarketing.