Neymar da Silva

Category: Soccer
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Brazilian footballer and sports speaker Neymar da Silva is the best soccer player in the world – at least according to Brazilian soccer legends Pelé, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo. In both 2011 and 2012, he was named the South American footballer of the year. In 2013, The Guardian newspaper ranked him as 6th best in the world. From 2009 to 2013 Neymar played for the Brazilian club Santos, since then he has established himself as a leading goal scorer for FC Barcelona. Neymar is also a vital player for Brazil’s national team, whom he has been a member of since 2010. In 2012 he helped his team secure the silver medal in the London summer Olympics. In the 2014 FIFA world cup, he scored twice in the team’s opening game against Croatia, leading to an eventual 3-1 win, setting the tone for the rest of the team as they move farther into the tournament.

His incredible on field performances haven’t gone unnoticed. At the age of 17, he secured an 11-year deal with Nike. Some other major sponsors include Panasonic and Volkswagen. He was featured on the front cover of Pro Evolution Soccer in both 2012 and 2013. In February of 2013, Neymar became the first Brazilian to be featured on the front cover of Time magazine, along with an article titled, “The next Pelé”. In June of 2014, Neymar was featured on the front cover of Vogue magazine along with supermodel Gisele Bündchen, the wife of Tom Brady, in order to draw attention to and hype up the upcoming world cup. In 2012 and 2013, Neymar was named the most marketable athlete on the planet by SportsPro magazine.

Neymar is also an icon in promoting modern Brazilian pop music.  In 2012, he posted a music video to a popular Brazilian song where he danced in the Santos’ locker room and convinced his teammates to dance with him, which went viral. He is also featured in the 2014 FIFA world cup song’s video by Shakira, with the likes of Messi and Aguero.