11 Neymar

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Forward

Neymar is a figure in the present and future of world football. The Brazilian can beat players, score and produce moments of magic. What more could you ask for?

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior signed for Barça on 3 June 2013 after an agreement was reached between the Club and FC Santos. The then 21-year-old was Barça’s first signing of the 2013/14 season.

Born on 5 February 1992 at Mogi das Cruzes, in Brazil, Neymar began his footballing career at Santos in 2003 when he was only 11 years old and he quickly began to stand out in the club’s lower teams before making his debut with the first team in 2009 – soon becoming a fixture in the side and winning the Young Player of the Year in the Campeonato Paulista.

In 2009, Neymar was named the Player of the Tournament and was also the leading scorer in the Brazilian Cup with 11 goals. He was now a key figure in the team as Santos went on to win the Copa Libertadores by beating Uruguayan club Peñarol 2-1 in the final.

As South American champions, Santos played in the 2011 Club World Cup against Barça – who beat them 4-0, though Neymar was named third best player in the Tournament, behind Messi and Iniesta.

In his first season, Neymar played 41 matches and scored 15 goals, nine in La Liga, one in the Cup, four in the Champions League and one in the Spanish Super Cup, the latter his first ever for Barça, the equaliser in a game with Atlético Madrid. On September 18 he made his UCL debut against Ajax, and in the same competition he got his first FCB hat-trick against Celtic. He scored his first Liga goal against Real Sociedad but also missed a month of action that season with a foot injury.

2014/2015 was his breakthrough season in Europe. He was Barcelona’s second top scorer behind Messi, with 43 goals in 50 official outings. Neymar was the top scorer in the cup with 11 goals and joint top scorer in the Champions League with 10, the same as Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo. Seven of those goals came in the last five games of the Champions League winning campaign.

Neymar first represented Brazil at the 2009 Under 17 Championships and following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he made his debut for the full international team in a friendly against USA, when  - still only 18 – he scored a goal. He was named in the Brazilian squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and helped take the team to the final, where they were beaten 2-1 by Mexico.

In the summer of 2013, just before signing for FC Barcelona, Neymar won the Confederations Cup with Brazil, scoring a goal in the final against Spain and being named MVP of the Tournament. Neymar Jr. made his official debut for the Club on 18 August 2013 in La Liga against Levante. The match ended with a Barça victory (7-0).

Technical profile

Fast, tricky, clever and skilful – Neymar is particular dangerous one on one, but he can shine in any attacking position, capable of showing his quality on the counter or finding spaces in a packed defence with his stunning turn of pace. Neymar is a lethal weapon against any defence.

The Brazilian national team's number 10 is also capable of working hard for the team by pressing opponents and helping out with defensive duties and his great shooting from distance has helped him score some spectacular goals in his career so far  - particularly from free kicks which have become a speciality.