Former Santos president Marcelo Teixeira has revealed that he was the prime reason for Neymar rejecting Real Madrid as a 14-year-old. The Madrid club’s youth coaches were so impressed by a teenage Neymar, following his trial in the Spanish capital, that they wanted to sign him but were refused by the youngster’s father. Thirteen-years on, Real are still chasing the Brazilian forward. Neymar has reportedly informed PSG about his decision to leave the French club and both Real and Barcelona are eager to get him before the European Transfer window deadline on September 2, 2019. Neymar Transfer to Barcelona or Real Madrid News: PSG Open to Loan Deal for Wantaway Brazilian Star.
Neymar, in 2006, had travelled to Spain from Brazil to train the Spain club’s Infantil A side (under-14 team). He impressed the Los Blancos’ youth coaches to such an extent that just two-weeks into his trail, the Madrid bosses offered the then 14-year-old a deal to keep him at the Bernabeu. But Neymar’s father (Neymar Senior) rejected the offer and informed the Spanish club that he had agreed to a million-dollar professional contract from Santos. Cristiano Ronaldo of Iraq! Biwar Abdullah’s Uncanny Resemblance to Juventus Football Star Makes Him a Local Celebrity - Watch Video.
“We were able to get hold of his father and make him an offer that earned him a million dollars,” said Teixeira in an interview with Spanish outlet Diario AS. Teixeira further informed how he fended off Madrid’s interest for a young Neymar and tied the teenager to a professional contract despite his young age.
“My whole board of directors told me I was out of my mind, but we all knew Neymar was something special. Keeping him was essential to Santos, and to what the side went on to achieve with him at the centre of it. It was a difficult decision that I had to make on my own, but it was what had to be done at that moment in time,” added Teixeira.
Teixeira first saw Neymar as an 11-year-old playing futsal. “I was taken to see him by Zito, who was our director of football, was a two-time World Cup winner with Brazil and was the captain of the Santos side led by Pelé, which won the Intercontinental Cup twice. We were quickly bowled over by his unique talents.” Santos then had youth teams only for players above the age of 15 but signing Neymar would change everything. The club now has youth teams for different age categories.
Neymar’s one of Santos’ greatest ever academy product now turns out for Paris Saint-Germain. The mercurial Brazilian signed for Barcelona from Santos in 2013 before moving to PSG in a record €222m deal. The move was supposed to draw him out of the apparent shadows of Lionel Messi and make a Ballon d’Or candidate. But two years on since that move Neymar craves for a return to Catalunya once again.
“Neymar is one of the best players in the world,” said Teixeira. “If you look at his individual quality, I think he's got it in him to rival even [Lionel] Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.” The former Santos president, however, stopped short of stating where he would like his once Santos star to play next.
“Any team in world football that Neymar decides to join will be getting a top professional who will make the difference out on the pitch. We'll see whether or not he ends up at Madrid; as I say, he's a player who'd make a difference to any side."
PSG sporting director Leonardo has already confirmed the club’s decision to sell the Brazilian star. But the French club’s demand in excess of $200m transfer fees has stopped both Barcelona and Real Madrid from approaching the club. Both want to negotiate in a player-swap deal, while PSG wants cash. But for now, a loan agreement looks likely.