This is the second of a three-part series on how Neymar Jr grew to greatness from the streets to FC Barcelona. The first part, among other things, looked at Neymar's very beginnings, what family means to him, how close he was to signing for Real Madrid, that awful car-crash, where he trained as a kid, who some of this role models are and Neymar Jr - the person.
"Until my debut for Santos my father used to say that Juninho was his son. After the debut he said he had just become the father of Neymar Jr." - Neymar Jr
"For a time, Neymar single-handedly transformed Santos into the Cirque du Soleil (the show that children and adults alike want to see at all costs). He is the new Messi. It is, however, a shame that he has given birth to ‘Neymarisation.'" - Edu Marangon
"He reminded me of his entire career with Santos, his five world titles with the national team and the club, and all the recognition he received. It wasn't easy but it was the right decision for us. We did the right thing for our family, friends and my career," writes Neymar.
"Ready to teach everything he learned in life, one day he will discover that no one really knows much, but actually learns from every moment. Before you, your child becomes a vulnerable adult. And it will generate, a little bit, within himself, the art of becoming a father." - Neymar Jr
Neymar loves his son, David Lucca Da Silva Santos, dearly. Yet he cried a lot when he first found out that he would become a father. He felt he wasn't ready. He therefore struggled to tell his family, especially his father, who warned him of making stupid mistakes and that all actions have consequences. After the initial shock, "he was incredible, as always," writes Neymar Jr. Neymar was at the hospital for his birth alongside David's mother, Carolina Noguiera Dantas (then 17) at 11:00 am on the 24th August 2011, and despite being a father at such a young age (19), Neymar is an incredibly caring and responsible father. The young mother said, "Juninho is a marvellous, caring doting father and a friend who has stood by me. When he was at Santos, he would come as often as he could, he was caring and showered him with gifts. Sometimes he stayed the night to sleep with David." David Lucca seemed to bring Santos luck and was some sort of a mascot for them, just as Neymar had been for the team his father used to play (for Uniao Mogi).
"You can never justify a mistake. My parents always taught me not to try to explain my mistakes but to try and learn from them. In my darkest hours, my family will always be by my side. They are my most loyal fans, and my most important team." - Neymar Jr
"Neymar has an extraordinary dribbling repertoire. Impressive, I would say; a repertoire that shocks you with its inventiveness and freshness. It's pure ellipse football." - Jose Miguel Wisnik
Click here to read Part 3.
- La Liga: FC Barcelona 3-1 Atletico Madrid: Player Ratings
- FC Barcelona Injury Report: Xavi, Neymar Jr. Miss Practice
- FC Barcelona News: 13 January 2015; Lionel Messi Finishes Second in Ballon d'Or voting, Joins Andres Iniesta in FIFPro Team of the Year
- Neymar - Part 1: The Skinny Kid Who Grew To Greatness From The Streets To FC Barcelona
- Barcelona 3-1 Atlético Madrid: Tactical Review