Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (born 5 February 1992), commonly known as Neymar or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Brazil national team.
At the age of 19, Neymar won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award, after coming third in 2010. He followed this up by winning it again in 2012. In 2011 Neymar won the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year. In 2015 he came third for the FIFA Ballon d’Or behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar is known for his dribbling skills, acceleration, finishing and ability with both feet. His playing style has earned him critical acclaim, with fans, media and former players drawing comparison to former Brazil forward Pelé, who has called Neymar “an excellent player”, while Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi have stated “he will be the best in the world”.
Neymar joined Santos in 2003 and, aged 17, made his debut for the club in 2009 and was voted the Best Young Player of the 2009 Campeonato Paulista. Neymar was named player of the year as Santos won the 2010 Campeonato Paulista, and he was also top scorer in the 2010 Copa do Brasil with 11 goals. He finished the 2010 season with 42 goals in 60 games, as his club achieved the Double. Neymar was again voted the player of the year in 2011 as Santos retained the state title and also won the 2011 Copa Libertadores securing a Continental Double, Santos’ first since 1963. Joining Barcelona in June 2013, in his second season at the club in 2014–15, Neymar helped them win the continental treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
Neymar has represented Brazil at Under-17, Under-20 and senior levels. On 10 August 2010, aged 18, he made his senior debut for Brazil in a friendly match against the United States; he scored in a 2–0 win. Neymar was the leading goal scorer of the 2011 South American Youth Championship with nine goals, including two in the final, in the 6–0 win against Uruguay. He was named in Brazil’s squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup, and was assigned the number 10 shirt. On 30 June, Neymar scored Brazil’s second goal in the 3–0 final win over Spain. His performances saw him receive the golden ball as player of the tournament. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Neymar scored four goals before he suffered a fractured vertebra in his spine in the quarter-finals and missed the rest of the tournament. He received the Bronze Boot as the tournament’s third top goalscorer, and was named in the World Cup All Star XI. Neymar captained Brazil at the 2015 Copa América, but in the group stage was given a suspension which ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.
His participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2015 Copa América was cut short by injury and a suspension respectively, but the next year he captained Brazil to their first Olympic gold medal in men’s football at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
With 46 goals in 70 matches for Brazil, Neymar is the fifth highest goalscorer for his national team. In 2012 and 2013, SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in the world. In December 2015 he was ranked by The Guardian as the third best player in the world. In June 2016, ESPN ranked Neymar fourth on their list of the world’s most famous athletes.