- Dec 19, 2003
Full name Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
Date of birth 5 February 1992 (1992-02-05) (age 18)
Place of birth Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil
Height 1.76 m
Weight 60 kg
Playing position Striker
Current club Barcelona
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (born 5 February 1992 in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil) Commonly known as Neymar, is a Brazilian footballer who currently plays for Brazilian club Santos and the Brazilian national football team.
After joining the squad in 2003, Neymar eventually made his Santos debut against Oeste on 7 March 2009 in a 2-1 win at the age of 17, Neymar's next appearance was against Mogi Mirim a week later, during which he scored his first goal for Santos. He is considered to be one of the most exciting young talents ever to come out of South America. On 11 April 2009, in the 2009 Campeonato Paulista semi-final first leg against Palmeiras, Neymar scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 win at Estádio Vila Belmiro. In the final however, Neymar failed to perform to his full ability, and Santos crashed out to Corinthians in a 4-2 aggregate loss.
Neymar's performances for Santos have drawn comparisons to Brazilian idols such as Robinho and Pelé. He began to attract interest from many clubs such as Manchester City, Internazionale, Real Madrid, and Chelsea, with Real Madrid even going so far as to claim that they had signed a pre-contract agreement with Neymar's agent, Wagner Ribeiro, which Santos fervently denied. Following this, Santos slapped an asking price of €30 million on the player's head,and tied Neymar down to a new contract lasting until December 2014. Neymar himself said he didn't think it was time to leave Santos, and that he was only focused on the club. Neymar’s agent has insisted that the Santos striker does not want to stay in his home country of Brazil.
On 15 April 2010, Neymar scored 5 goals for Santos in a 8-1 routing of Guarani in the round of 16 of the Brazilian Cup. Following the 2010 Campeonato Paulista in which Neymar scored 14 goals in 19 games, the club were crowned champions after a 5-5 aggregate win over Santo André in the finals. Neymar was given the award for the best player, due to his brilliant performances in the competition.
Following Neymar's performances for Brazil's U-17 team at the 2009 U-17 World Cup in which he scored a goal in the opening match against Japan former Brazilian football players Pelé and Romário reportedly urged coach Dunga to take Neymar to the 2010 World Cup. Although the widespread opinion that Neymar deserved a place in Dunga's squad went as far as a 14,000 signature petition, and despite the huge pressure on Dunga to pick Neymar, he was omitted from both the squad of 23, and the stand-by list. Although Dunga described Neymar as "extremely talented", he claimed that he had not been tested sufficiently on the international level to earn a World Cup spot and he had failed to impress enough while on international duty.
On 26 July 2010, Neymar was selected in the squad for the Brazil team by new head coach Mano Menezes for a friendly match against the USA on 10 August 2010. He started the game and wore the number 11 jersey. He scored on his debut after 28 minutes, a header coming from an André Santos cross in a 2–0 win for Brazil.