Updated: Nov 3, 2019
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (Brazilian Portuguese: [nejˈmaʁ dɐ ˈsiwvɐ ˈsɐ̃tus ˈʒũɲoʁ]; born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar Jr. or simply Neymar, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team.
Neymar came into prominence at an early age at Santos, where he made his professional debut aged 17. He helped the club win two successive Campeonato Paulista championships, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores, with the latter Santos' first since 1963. Neymar was twice named the South American Footballer of the Year, in 2011 and 2012, and soon relocated to Europe to join Barcelona. As part of Barça's attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, he won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, and came third for the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2015 for his performances. He then attained a domestic double in the 2015–16 season. In 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in a move worth €222 million, making him the most expensive player ever.[note 1] In France, he won two league titles, a Coupe de France, and a Coupe de la Ligue, which included a domestic treble and being voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year, in his debut season. Neymar's second season with PSG was heavily injury-riddled and marked by controversies.
With 61 goals in 99 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18, Neymar is the third highest goalscorer for his national team, trailing only Pelé and Ronaldo. He was a key player in Brazil's victories at the 2011 South American Youth Championship, where he finished as leading goalscorer, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. His participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 Copa América was cut short by injury and a suspension, respectively, but, the following year, he captained Brazil to their first Olympic gold medal in men's football at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and two years later, featured at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Off the pitch, Neymar ranks among the world's most prominent sportsmen; SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in the world in 2012 and 2013, and ESPN cited him as the world's fourth-most famous athlete in 2016. In 2017, Neymar was listed by Time to be one of the most influential people in the world, and in 2019, Forbes ranked him the world's third highest-paid athlete (after Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo).
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior was born in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, to Neymar Santos Sr. and Nadine da Silva. He inherited his name from his father, who is a former footballer and became his son's advisor as Neymar's talents began to grow. Neymar comments on his father's role: "My father has been by my side since I was little. He takes care of things, my finances and my family." Growing up, Neymar combined his love of futsal with street football.
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