Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior – he is considered to be one of the best football players in the world and of his generation, named the successor of Messi. Despite many achievements, he is still modest and humble. In 2006, he already had the possibility to do play in Real Madrid but he refused the offer because he didn’t want to leave his family and club. Family and loyalty were always more important than money. Even though since the beginning he had a lot of support from his relatives, he had to overcome a lot of obstacles and show his worth. Today fans on YouTube are looking for Neymar’s best goals. He is often compared to Messi and Ronaldo because his football skills can match those two. He has achieved great success in international clubs competitions, winning both the UEFA Champions League and the South American equivalent, the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores.
February 1992, Brazil – the first baby of family Santos came to the world. They got to know that it’s a boy on the day of birth because they didn’t have money for an ultrasound scan. The boy didn’t have a name for the first week so his parents called him Juninho and they still call him like that. Finally, the baby received name Neymar, like his father. That’s why he is called Neymar Junior, and today he is the star player of Paris Saint. Germain and of the Brazilian national football team. Unfortunately, the happiness of the family didn’t last long because in June of the same year, there was a horrible accident. The parents of 4-months-old Neymar were going to Santos to visit their family when the oncoming car hit the driver’s side. The most harmed was the father but when he woke up he couldn’t see his son anywhere. The car stopped over the cliff so if the baby fell out of the car, he had little chance to survive. Parents couldn’t go out of the car but people came with help and they found bloodstained Neymar under the rear seat. Thank God he was all the time in the car!
Happily, nothing serious happened to the baby, but the father was in a very weak state. It was very painful to him, because his little son was afraid of him when for several months his pelvis had to hang in the air immobilized because of severe fracture.
Future football player in his early childhood lived in one, small room with his parents and sister. Despite weak conditions, Neymar was able to do the football field there. “I was playing my own matches and tournaments, I was kicking the ball and added my own narration. I played, commented and cheered”. His favorite play was to kick the ball against the wall, firstly with the right leg, when it was tired with left one, chest the ball and then head it. He often went to play with dad on the beach. Every free moment, He spent improving his skills and got pleasure out of it. He started to collect balls, different – old, new, flat or inflated. He had over 50 and loved each of them and as he said – firstly you have to respect the ball and then you can aspire to be a professional.
Some day, when Neymar was about 8, after training, he kicked the ball with his left, obviously weaker foot. Seeing the poor result, his coach said he should always use the right leg. But his father didn’t agree with it at all. “Son, you should use this foot that is closer to the ball, no matter whether it’s the right or the left one. Don’t be afraid of using the weaker leg. If you use it often, it will get stronger, you will feel it. And the weaker is the helper to the stronger one.” The boy started to train his left leg, initially with the very poor result but persistence paid off what showed the final of The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Spain – an amazing goal with the left foot that Iker Casilla didn’t manage to defend. His father always taught him to work on his weaknesses, not to pretend that they don’t exist. Champions Are Not Born, They Are Made!
Neymar’s father worked hard to provide his family with everything they needed. He had to sacrifice his own sporting career for the good of his children. He refused offers to play matches because he was afraid of losing his job and in consequence,, the source of income. “Family over everything, over passion and money” – it’s probably the motto of this family because already in 2006 Neymar received the offer to play in Real Madrid for a big sum of money, but he denied because he didn’t want to leave his family. Even though they didn’t have a lot of money, once even the electricity at their home was cut off, the most important for them was to be together. That’s why 13-years old Neymar rejected the proposal.
23 August, 2010 – Neymar comes with his father to the meeting with Santos’ Manager who informs them that Chelsea wants to buy Neymar for 30 mln euro. In the middle of conversation, the manager turned off the light and indicated the empty seat. “Back in the days here was sitting a big hero. Since the death of Ayrton Senna, the chair remains empty. If Neymar stays in Santos and refuses the offer of Chelsea, it will be the first step to sit down here”. And that’s how the “Project Neymar” started, its author is Neymar’s father and it aimed to find funds to support the family of the football player. Never before had been done something like this to keep the player in the country.
The article written on the basis of the autobiography “Neymar: My Story: Conversations With My Father”.