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24th Feb 2017

5 unforgettable Neymar Jr. moments that made him a legend

There's no one like Neymar.


Sponsored by Red Bull.

At just 25, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is already one of the world’s most prolific sportsmen.

Debuting for his home nation at just 18, he’s already the fourth-highest goal scorer in Brazilian history. He won the Copa Libertadores and Champions League before his 24th birthday. It’s fair to say, he’s a bit of a legend. It’s tough to whittle down what makes Neymar a legend in just five points, but we’ve given it a try.


1. When he danced around almost every defender in his path

‘Fancy footwork’ doesn’t even begin to cover Neymar’s abilities on the ball. His speed, control and vision make him incredibly hard to close down, foxing defenders with an almost unparalleled level of skill.

It’s hard to pinpoint one moment of genius, but this display against Argentina’s River Plate is a textbook example of what makes Neymar such a threat.


2. When a little boy ran on to the field and Neymar stopped to say hello

If Neymar is known for one thing more than his skill, it’s his humility. One of the most likeable men in sports, Neymar showed his class when a young kid ran onto the pitch during a game between Brazil and South Africa.

The security were about to escort the kid off the field, when Neymar runs over, picks him up, and introduces him to the rest of the squad.


3. When leaving Santos got a little overwhelming

Leaving your home country is tough, but for a footballer, leaving your childhood club can be even tougher. Neymar had been with Santos for four years, but in 2013 he played his last season at home, due to set off for Spain and La Liga in the new season.

People love Neymar, Brazil loves Neymar; emotions were running high for his last game with Santos, and Neymar showed that he loves Brazil right back.


4. When he made a statement of intent with his first goal for Barcelona

When you’re playing alongside Messi and Sanchez, you’ve got to step up. Neymar wasted no time in making it clear that he wasn’t just an impressive price tag, netting his first goal for Barcelona even before his La Liga bow.

1-0 down against Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, a cracking header brought Barcelona level, and they eventually went on to win the game on away goals. The rest is history, and it’s still being written.


5. When he scored the winning penalty to win Brazil Olympic gold

Olympic football may hold the same stature as the other major international competitions, but the Rio Olympics in 2016 was a different matter. It was a big moment for Brazil, marred by controversy, corruption and a suspiciously green diving pool, there was a lot of pressure for the first-time hosts to get it right.

When Neymar scored the winning penalty to earn Brazil their first Olympic gold for football, it was a kind of validation, and the look on Neymar’s face says it all.

Pave your way to the world final in Brazil. Sign up for Neymar Jr’s FIVE, a five-a-side tournament with a difference.