Brazil captain Neymar has scored more national team goals than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi together in 2014 and has been selected as the next star in our 5 Things feature.
Neymar has scored 15 goals for Brazil in 2014, while Ronaldo only scored five for Portugal and Messi sits on eight for Argentina. Here five other things you may or may not have known about the 22-year-old.
1) Despite Neymar’s unbelievable fame and talent, there is not a very large number of fans outside of Brazil and Spain who know the full name of the superstar. The Brazilian attacker received his name, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, from his father.
2) When he was 19, Carolina Dantas gave birth to Neymar’s son David Lucca. Neymar is not in a relationship with her, and is currently taking care of Davi as a single-father. Despite being scared at first, Neymar described the birth of the boy as “2.8 kilograms of pure happiness.”
3) Real Madrid’s interest in acquiring Neymar has been quite famous in recent times, but the deal fell through in the summer of 2011. However, Neymar could have joined the Spanish side way back when he just 14 years old. He even flew to Spain and had passed all the tests, but before the transfer could be completed, Santos paid a hefty amount to keep him in Brazil.
4) In both 2012 and 2013, Neymar was named the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine, defeating the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Rory McIlroy and Usain Bolt.
5) Being a star soccer player and the face of Brazil, it’s obvious that Neymar is quite rich, but ranking 16th in Forbes’ “World Highest Paid Athletes” list at just 22 is fairly outrageous. The young superstar earns a total of $33.6 million with $16 million in endorsements and $17.6 million from his salary at Barcelona.
Did you know these facts about Neymar? Have your say in the comment section below.