With Brazil’s passage to the 2018 World Cup in Russia already secure, Neymar took some time out to chat about his childhood idols who were not as expected.
Despite having graduated from the famed Santos academy and making his first foray into professional football with Vila Belmiro club, he admitted that he was actually a Palmeiras supporter when he was growing up.
“My story as a Palmeiras fan did not last long because I was very young, but my idols were Evair, Marcos, Rivaldo and Alex,” he explained in an interview with Palmeiras TV.
Neymar’s four idols:
Evair Aparecido Paulino:
A retired Brazilian football best remembered for his time with Palmeiras and his contributions to Vasco da Gama. He scored 125 goals in total for Palmeiras.
Marcos Roberto Silveira Reis:
Widely considered as one of Palmeiras’ greatest players of all time, Marcos was a hugely influential goalkeeper. He was Brazil’s first choice for their World Cup success in 2002, he received an offer from Arsenal but opted instead to remain with his club.
Alexsandro de Souza:
Alex was a former Brazilian midfielder with a phenomenal left-foot that allowed him to excel at set-pieces.
Victor Borba Ferreira Gomes:
Known as Rivaldo, the former Barcelona forward was at his peak at the turn of the millennium, he was arguably the best player in the world at that time and will be remembered as one of the sport’s true greats.