“The secret is to believe in your dreams and your potential to become the same as your heroes. Keep searching, keep believing, and never lose faith in yourself." Those words of wisdom belong to Neymar Júnior, a Brazilian footballer, considered one of the best in the world of his generation and admired by many.
As a kid, Neymar began playing football in São Vicente, Brazil, under the guidance of his father, a former professional soccer player. They have always been very close, and Neymar has trusted his father's judgment since the beginning of his soccer career. The gifted child was quickly noticed by Santos FC, a Brazilian soccer club, who signed him in 2003 and enrolled him into their junior program. That was the first of many conquests to come.
Making dreams come true
During the time he spent playing for Santos, he scored a goal every other match and was crucial in the team winning the Libertadores Cup (an annual official international soccer tournament, organized by the South American Soccer Confederation). This earned him many awards and a ticket to Spain when FC Barcelona showed interest in him. Neymar was traded from the Brazilian club to the Spanish team for €57 million, making it one of the most expensive football transfers in soccer’s history.
Soon after his debut in Barcelona, Neymar began scoring goals and assisting his team to victory after victory. By December 2015, he had won the three most important club competitions: the Copa Libertadores, the Champions League, and the FIFA Club World Cup. He became a historic player known for his quick reflexes, agility, lightning speed, and body control. Following intense negotiations, Barcelona's star player was transferred to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
He is also an integral part of the Brazilian National Team, where he made his debut in the 2011's Copa America. Due to his talent on the field, he became a regular in the call-ups, and he played in a World Cup for the first time in 2014, disputing five matches and scoring four goals.
As one of the best players in the world, Neymar had been crucial in winning many championships and has been awarded many titles.
- Young Player of the Year (2011)
- Top Scorer (UEFA Champions League 2014/15, Copa del Rey 2014/2015, Copa Libertadores 2011/12)
- Ballon D'or (2010, 2011, 2012)
- South American Footballer of the Year (2011, 2012)
- Samba Gold (2014)
International and club awards:
- Copa do Brasil (2010)
- Copa Libertadores (2011)
- UEFA Champions League (2014/15)
- UEFA Super Cup (2015)
We’ll probably see Neymar win many other awards, since, as he once said: “You always have to improve. (...) I always work to develop, and I cannot stop.”