Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, or Neymar as he is known popularly, is a Brazilian footballer who represents the Brazilian club Santos as the main striker. Neymar is regarded as one of the finest young prospects of Brazilian football, and despite being only 19 years old; he has already made his debut for the Brazilian national team.
Neymar started his career with the youth Academy of Santos in 2003, and immediately the Brazilian club recognised that they had one of the finest young players in the world in their youth system. Neymar progressed through the youth ranks rapidly and he was finally promoted to the first-team in 2009. Despite being only 17 during the time of this debut, Neymar continued to make incredible progress. In the 2009 season when he made his debut, Neymar made a total of 48 appearances in all competitions and scored 14 goals.
Many regarded his goals return to be a little less for a player of this stature. Neymar soon answered his critics in the following season by scoring 60 goals in 42 appearances for the club in the 2010 season. It helped propel Santos into the latter stages of the South American equivalent of the Champions League. As he continued to impress onlookers with his goals and the performances, Neymar continued to attract attention from a number of clubs across Europe. Chelsea were the first to register their interest in the young Brazilian.
Chelsea also came very close to signing the Brazilian for a reported fee of around £30 million. However, Neymar rejected the offer from Chelsea citing reasons that he needs to develop more in order to survive in Europe, and that he needed one more season in the Brazilian league. It proved to be a great decision for both Neymar and Santos, who agreed to extend Neymar’s contract with the huge buyout clause in the region of £ 45 million. Santos do not completely own Neymar, whose five percentage interests are controlled by the Terceira Estrela Investimentos S.A – an investment group in Brazil.
This after Santos recently decided to cash in on the success of the young Brazilian by selling five percentage of his value. In the 2011 season, Neymar had made 33 appearances and scored 14 goals in the process.
Despite being extremely young, it did not take long for Neymar to make his international debut. He first made his debut for the Brazilian under 17 team in 2009, while he was soon promoted to the Brazilian under 20 side in 2011. His debut for the senior team came in 2010 in the match against the United States. It did not take long for him to open his account for his national team, as he scored with a header on his debut.
So far, he has won the Copa do Brasil, Campeonato Paulista, and the Copa Libertadores with Santos. With the national team, he has won the South American Youth Championship in 2011. He was also chosen as the Best Young Player of Campeonato Paulista in 2009.