Neymar said he had “realised” his dream with a cameo appearance in his favourite Netflix show as later Tuesday there was a fresh plot twist in his long-running Paris Saint-Germain transfer drama.
The Brazil forward is anxious for a move back to Spain with both Barcelona and Real Madrid trying to seal a deal before the European transfer window closes next Monday.
“We are continuing negotiations, we are closer to a deal,” Barca director Javier Bordas told reporters at Barcelona airport after returning from a meeting with PSG in the French capital.
But he added: “As yet there is still no deal.”
ACG Born on February 5, 1992 in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior inherited his name from his father, a former footballer and his current advisor.
Neymar took up football at an early age and played street games and futsal – an indoor version of the game. He joined the Portuguesa Santista youth club in 1999, and within a few years went on to become one of the most talented youngsters in the country.
His professional career, however, was shaped at Santos FC, the club he joined in 2003, at the age of 11. When news of his talents reached Europe, he was offered the chance to join Real Madrid at age 14. The Santos management reportedly convinced Neymar to stay back and handed him a large bonus.
Neymar made his senior debut for Santos in 2009 and won the league’s Best Young Player award. The following year, he helped Santos claim the league and Copa do Brasil championships en route to the first of three straight scoring titles. He went on to win four consecutive Player of the Year awards and became a national sensation. The same season he made his debut for the senior national team.
In 2011, Neymar scored an epic goal, which was voted the FIFA Goal of the Year. He also led Santos to its first Copa Libertadores championship in 48 years. However, he was criticized for Brazil’s quarterfinal loss in the 2011 Copa America tournament.
Despite his domestic exploits, Neymar was not picked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by Dunga, even as Pele and Romario had pitched for his inclusion, and over 14,000 fans signing a petition demanding Neymar’s inclusion. However, the forward did not let any of this affect his scoring ways and he went on to clinch the South American Footballer of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.
Neymar became a father at the age of 19. He named his son, Davvi Luca, but has not revealed the name of the child’s mother to “protect her”.
In 2010, Premier League club West Ham United noticed Neymar’s exploits and approached him with a £12 million offer. The bid, although unsuccessful, drew global attention and soon Chelsea showed interest in him.
A youth icon, Neymar was named the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro magazine in 2012 and 2013, pipping the likes of Usain Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rory McIlroy and Lionel Messi.
Neymar scored his 100th professional goal on his 20th birthday in 2012 and finished the year with a career-best total of 43 goals.
In 2013, Neymar moved to Europe and signed a five-year deal with La Liga side Barcelona. The €57 million purchase made him the ninth-most expensive buy for the club.
Neymar started the 2014 FIFA World Cup brightly, scoring 4 goals and 1 assist before being kneed in the back by Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zúñiga in the quarter-final. He missed the rest of the World Cup due to a fractured vertebra as Brazil sank to an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Germany in the semis. Neymar won the Bronze Boot award and was named in the World Cup All Star XI.
Neymar formed an important part of Barcelona’s attacking troika, famously called “MSN”, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The feared forward-line scored 364 goals over three seasons.
During his time in Spain, Neymar helped Barcelona to a historic treble – La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League titles – in the 2014-15 season. Barca are the only European club to achieve the feat twice.
The Brazilian has won eight trophies during his three-year stint at Barcelona, which include three Copa Del Rey, two La Liga, one Supercopa de Espana, one Champions League, and one Club World Cup title.
On August 3, 2017, Barcelona announced that Neymar’s legal representatives made a €222 million ($263 million) payment to the club, which is the release clause of his contract. Neymar joined French club Paris Saint-Germain on a contract that will run until 2022. He will be paid an annual salary of €45 million, ($53 million) making him the highest-paid footballer in the world, going past Carlos Tevez, who is paid $42 million per year by the Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.
According to French newspaper Le Parisien, Neymar’s former club have upped their offer to 170 million euros, payable in two instalments, with possibly players attached.
Barca sold the 27-year-old to PSG in 2017 for a world record 222 million euros.
Earlier Neymar tweeted his delight at appearing in the Netflix crime drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist).
He was originally edited out by pending the outcome of his rape case.
Once Brazilian police dropped their investigation last month, Netflix re-released the episodes to include the Paris Saint-Germain forward.”I was able to realize my dream and be part of my favorite series. And now I can share Joao (his character) with you all! Thank you @lacasadepapel!” he told his Twitter followers.
The world’s most expensive player has a small role in Season 3 of the crime drama, which follows a gang of robbers and their assault on the Bank Of Spain.
“I don’t like football nor partying,” Neymar’s character says.
“At the World Cup, I always pray for our team,” he adds.
Neymar was accused by Najila Trindade, a Brazilian model of rape in a Paris hotel in May.
He vehemently denied the allegations, with the case dismissed by a judge in Sao Paulo on August 9.