By Victor Martins, FootballPredictions.NET, 12:15 18/11/2020
Neymar is undoubtedly one of the most talented footballers in world football. His dazzling performances for Santos earned him a big-money transfer to Barcelona in 2013, where he won it all.
He also spearheaded Brazil to Olympic gold in 2014 in his native country. Neymar is a global superstar, but has he ever played for Real Madrid?
At the time of writing, the Brazil international has never played for Real Madrid. Despite heavy reports linking him to a world-record transfer to Spain’s capital, a move hasn’t materialised and he remains at Paris Saint Germain.
Neymar has only ever played for Santos, Barcelona and PSG in club football.
If recent reports are to believed, Neymar is close to committing his immediate future to PSG by signing a new contract.
Links to a return to Camp Nou have been played down recently due to the Spanish club’s financial difficulties coinciding with the astronomical fee needed to bring the Brazilian back.
Breaking Onto The Scene With Santos
Neymar came through the youth ranks with his boyhood club, Serie A club Santos. He made his professional debut for the club at just 17 years of age in a 3-1 victory against Oeste.
The following week he netted his first goal for the club against Mogi Mirim. Across his debut season, he scored 14 goals in 48 appearances.
Neymar (Santos FC)
in the final of FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011,
SantosFC 0-4 FC Barcelona at Yokohama, Japan 18 Dec 2011
Photo by Masahide Tomikoshi / TOMIKOSHI PHOTOGRAPH pic.twitter.com/UmYEmkWBEJ
Neymar (Santos FC)
In 2011, Neymar scored six goals in the Copa Libertadores as Santos reached the two-legged final.
Perhaps his most notable strike in the run-up to the showpiece event was the winning goal netted in the 4-3 semi-final victory over Cerro Porteno. Spearheaded by the then young star, Santos won their first Copa Libertadores since Pele’s tenure at the club.
They clinched a 2-1 aggregate victory, with Neymar being named ‘Man of the Match’.
After his impressive performances during the tournament, Real Madrid were heavily linked with his services. However, they were forced to deny allegations that they were trying to sign Neymar on a pre-contract agreement.
Controversial Transfer To FC Barcelona
In May 2013, Neymar confirmed that he was signing for FC Barcelona, although an investigation was launched in January 2014 to uncover the details surrounding his transfer to the Catalan giants.
As a result, Barcelona officials were forced to reveal the exact financial details paid to Santos for the transfer. The figures showed that the transfer cost them €86.2million with Neymar’s parents confirmed to have received €40million.
In the aftermath, Barcelona and its president were charged with tax fraud.
Alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the three formed a formidable attacking lineup titled ‘MSN’. The front three spearheaded the Barcelona attack as the club won the treble under Luis Enrique.
Across the 2014/15 European season, ‘MSN’ scored a combined 122 goals between them; setting a record in Spanish football history.
As Barcelona progressed into the Champions League final, they found themselves favourites in the biggest game in European football as they faced Juventus.
Despite being pegged back to 1-1, the Catalan club lifted their fifth Champions League trophy, with Neymar scoring the third in an eventual 3-1 victory.
€200million Transfer To PSG
In the summer of 2017, shockwaves reverberated across the footballing world when Barcelona had announced that Neymar’s €200million release clause had been met by Paris Saint Germain.
Neymar lifted the domestic treble at the end of his first season and scored and assisted on debut against Guingamp.
However, his season was cut short by fracturing a bone in his foot. He ended the season with 28 goals in 30 games.
For the first time in the club’s history, PSG reached the Champions League final thanks to the performances of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. There was no fairytale ending however as they lost to Bayern Munich in the final.