Saturday, February 25, 2012

Neymar

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (born 5 February 1992), commonly known simply as Neymar (Portuguese pronunciation: [nejˈmaʁ]) or Neymar Jr., is a Brazilian footballer who plays as a forward for Santos and the Brazilian national football team. He won the 2011 FIFA Puskás Award for scoring the best goal of the season in the Brasileirão in a 5–4 loss to Flamengo.

Following Neymar's performances for Brazil's U-17 team at the 2009 U-17 World Cup in which he scored a goal in the opening match against Japan, former Brazilian football players Pelé and Romário reportedly urged coach Dunga to take Neymar to the 2010 World Cup. Although the widespread opinion that Neymar deserved a place in Dunga's squad went as far as a 14,000 signature petition, and despite the huge pressure on Dunga to pick Neymar, he was omitted from both the squad of 23, and the stand-by list. Although Dunga described Neymar as "extremely talented", he claimed that he had not been tested sufficiently on the international level to earn a World Cup spot and he had failed to impress enough while on international duty. On 26 July 2010, Neymar was selected for the first time in the Brazil senior team by new head coach Mano Menezes for a friendly match against the United States to be played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. On 10 August 2010 he made his debut with the national team in that game, aged 18 years old, starting the match and wearing the number 11 jersey. He scored on his debut after 28 minutes, a header coming from an André Santos cross in a 2–0 win for Brazil. On 27 March 2011, he scored twice in a 2–0 win against Scotland at the Emirates Stadium.

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