Neymar da Silva Santos Junior was born in the 5th of February in 1992. He is commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr. by his fans. Neymar is a world-famous professional footballer who plays as a forward for the highly respected Spanish club FC Barcelona. Furthermore, he is also part of the national team of Brazil.
Neymar was born in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo, to his father Neymar Santos, Sr. and mother Nadine da Silva. Neymar father was also a former footballer and had an important role as an advisor for Neymar Jr. early football days.
In 2003, Neymar and his family moved to Sao Vicente so he could play for the youth side Portuguesa Santista. Later in 2003, they moved again to Santos, where Neymar began playing for Santos FC. Santos FC is a very famous club which has produced Brazilian internationals such as Coutinho, Clodoaldo, Deigo, Elano and Alex. He also was surrounded by the likes of Pepe, Pele, Robinho in the club. Neymar quickly began to succeed in his youth career and attained enough income for the family to buy their first property in Vila Belmiro. At the age of only 15 years old, Neymar was earning 10,000 reais per month and at 16 years old, he earned an astonishing 125,000 reais per month. At the tender age of 17, he attained and signed his first full professional contract and joined the Santos first team. This started the uproar of sponsorship deals for Neymar.
He made his professional debut on the 7th of March in 2009; he was brought into the game for the last thirty minutes in a 2-1 win against Oeste. Neymar quickly showed his abilities by scoring his maiden goal for Santos against Mogi Mirim the following week. A month later, Neymar and his skills made an important impact in a 2-1 win against Palmeiras in the 2009 Campeonato Pualista semi-final, where he scored the last decisive goal. However, in the final, Santos lost to Corinthians 2-4 in a much aggregated defeat. Neymar ended his first debut season with 14 goals in 48 games.
Neymar continued his journey in the 2010 season and on the 15th of April 2010, he shined extremely by scoring five goals for Santos in an 8-1 rout of Guarani in the qualifying stages of the Brazilian Cup. He continued to excel and ended his 2010 Campenato Paulista with 14 goals in 19 games. Santos FC were crowned the champions after a 5-5 aggregate win over Santo Andre in the finals. The tournament honoured Neymar with the best player of the competition award. Many acclaimed similarities and comparisons of Neymar performances for Santos to other Brazilians such as Robinho and football legend Pele.
In 2010, Santos received an offer of 12 million pounds in bid for Neymar from English Premier League West Ham United. They later received another offer from English Club Chelsea of 20 million pounds. Santos rejected both offers and was unwilling to sell Neymar. However, Neymar agent Wagner Riberio stated Neymar career was elsewhere. Riberio stated “(Neymar) He wants to become the best player in the world. The chances of him doing that while playing in Brazil are zero”. Neymar ended his 2010 season with Santos with an impressive 42 goals in 60 games. At the end of 2010, in December Neymar came third for the 2010 South American Footballer of the Year, only behind Adres D’Alessandro and Juan Sebastian Veron.
In 2011, Neymar scored six goals during Santos run to the 2011 Copa Libertadores Finals and was the third top goal scorer. He score a goal in a 4-3 aggregate win over Cerro Porteno in the semi finals to take Santos to the finals. In the second leg of the final, Neymar scored in the 46th minute and Santos held on for a 2-1 win. Neymar was honoured as the Man of the Match in that match. This was Santos first Copa Libertadores triumph since 1963, when Brazilian legend Pele was playing for the club.
On the 9th of November in 2011, Neymar and Santos agreed to a contract extension that had Neymar signed to the team until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The deal increased Neymar’s wages by 50 percent to match the levels of pay that top European clubs would be paying him. Neymar continued to shine through his early career. On the 14th of December in 2011, he scored the opening goal in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup against Kashiwa Reysol in a 3-1 victory. However, Neymar failed to score against the prestigious Barcelona FC in the final of the tournament where they lost 4-0. At the end of 2011, Neymar attained the FIFA Puskas Award for a sensational solo goal in the BRasillerao Serie A againgts Flamengo. He also won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award for the first time, joining the elite club with the likes of Diego Maradona, Romario, Pele and Zico.