Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, better known as Neymar Jr. or simply Neymar, is a Brazilian football icon widely counted among the greatest of the game in the modern era. Neymar is also one of the richest footballers in the world with a net worth of USD 95 million, as per Forbes’ list of the highest-paid athletes of 2022.
As a forward, Neymar is one of the most prolific attackers for his club and country in the sport. He was acquired by Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from La Liga club Barcelona in 2017 for USD 263 million — the highest-ever transfer fee for any footballer in history.
A look at Neymar’s achievements with club and country
Due to his outstanding ability to find gaps in opposition defences, Neymar Santos Jr. has become one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time. He is one of the only three footballers after Brazilian legend Romario and Portuguese great Cristiano Ronaldo to have scored at least 100 goals for three different clubs.
His talent has helped his clubs and the national team win several championships over the years.
The star footballer made his debut at the age of 17 in 2009 for Santos, a major team in the Brazilian top tier known as Campeonato Paulista. Due to him, the club won its only ever Recopa Sudamericana and Copa do Brasil trophies. He was also instrumental in the club’s Copa Libertadores win for the first time since the 1960s and two of its Campeonato Paulista league championships.
Besides his success at Santos, Neymar won a FIFA Club World Cup, a UEFA Champions League cup, two La Liga championships, one UEFA Super Cup and three Spanish Cup trophies with Barcelona. He has also won four Ligue 1 titles, three French Cup trophies and four French Super Cup championships with PSG.
For the Brazilian national team, Neymar brought home the Confederations Cup in 2013 and the Olympic Gold medal at Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. He has also played for the team at FIFA World Cup tournaments, including the 2022 edition held in Qatar.
The Barcelona transfer case
Neymar signed up with Barcelona in 2013 before moving to France to play for PSG in 2017. While both his football contracts have been in the news, they have been for completely different reasons. The PSG transfer was a record-setter, but the transfer from Santos to Barcelona landed the footballer in trouble.
In October 2022, Neymar and eight others, including his parents, went on trial in Barcelona for fraud and corruption charges connected to the transfer. While Barcelona maintained that the transfer cost of USD 55.3 million, prosecutors alleged that it was worth USD 80.5 million and sought a two-year jail term and impose a fine of USD 10 million on Neymar.
The transfer became part of an investigation in 2015 after Brazilian investment firm DIS formally complained that it had lost part of its rightful cut as it owned 40 percent of Neymar’s economic rights during his time at Santos.
However, prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against Neymar and others, allowing the court to acquit everyone in the case.
One of the world’s highest-paid athletes
Neymar is the world’s fourth highest-paid athlete as per the Forbes list of 2022, behind Ronaldo and Argentine legend Lionel Messi.
Interestingly, Neymar has been playing football with Messi in PSG and was also with the Argentine at Barcelona.
Forbes estimates that Neymar’s net worth includes USD 70 million from his PSG salary and bonuses on the field during the 12-month period between 1 May 2021 and 1 May 2022.
His off-field earnings were an estimated USD 25 million, primarily from his endorsements for Puma and Red Bull. During this period, he was also the subject of the Netflix documentary Neymar: The Perfect Chaos, which was released on 25 January 2022.
The Sun reported in 2018 that Neymar was the world’s most branded footballer at the time with 35 endorsements that included the likes of Nike, Qatar National Bank and Beats. Accordingly, at the time his number was perhaps higher than even Ronaldo and Messi’s endorsements.
Nike ended its deal with Neymar in August 2020. A year later, the company said that it decided to terminate the deal after the footballer refused to cooperate with an investigation connected to an alleged sexual assault on a Nike employee by Neymar in 2016. Neymar has denied the charge.
Outside of football, Neymar is involved with his charitable organisation, Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr., which works with economically weak, less educated, crime- or drug-affected families in Praia Grande to help bring a positive change in their lives.
Expensive things Neymar owns
In 2012, when he was still playing for Santos, Neymar bought a second-hand yacht costing around USD 8 million.
Named after his mother, Nadine, the yacht reportedly is an Azimut 78-type vessel. Measuring 25 metres in length, the yacht has three or four suites and at least one living room. It has plush interiors and comfy sofas for a completely luxurious boating experience on the seas like Neymar would prefer.
When he bought the yacht, Forbes reported that the yacht required a maintenance expenditure of USD 120,000 every year and would lose value at the rate of 5-10 percent annually.
Thus, when four years later, a Brazilian court ordered the seizure of around USD 42 million of his assets, including his yacht and private jet, in a tax evasion case, some reports said that the value of the yacht was around USD 4 million.
Neymar, his girlfriend Bruno Biancardi and his sister Rafaella Santos had a close escape when the aircraft they were flying in had to make an emergency landing in the Brazilian city of Boa Vista. Following the incident, the footballer’s agency said in a statement that the aircraft had developed a “small problem in the windshield wiper.”
The jet, a Cessna Citation Sovereign (Model 680), is owned by his agency, Neymar Sport E Marketing, and is worth around USD 17.5 million. Some reports suggest that the private aircraft was bought in 2016.
The Brazilian footballer reportedly also owned another private aircraft — a Phenom 100 by Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer. Neymar also posted a picture of him sitting on the airstair of the jet in June 2015. The picture shows his initials “NJR” on the tail of the small business aircraft capable of seating six. The word “Power” was also emblazoned on the body.
It is not clear what happened to the aircraft, but it was one of the assets that the court had ordered to be seized in connection to the tax evasion case. The price of this aircraft was reportedly around USD 4 million.
Besides his private plane, Neymar also has a personal Airbus H145 helicopter, which he got custom-designed to make it appear like, what reports suggest, a Batcopter — the helicopter that is one of the many machines that Batman has been seen using in the comic books, animated series and movies.
According to The Daily Mirror, Neymar is believed to be a huge fan of DC Comics. He has especially dressed up as the Dark Knight at some parties. Several reports suggest that Neymar’s Airbus H145 has interior styling by Mercedes-Benz.
Interestingly, Airbus had, in 2015, launched an exclusive VIP version of the aircraft with Mercedes-Benz for high-end private and corporate operations.
The chopper was first seen when Neymar and his fellow Brazil national team players Richarlison, Ederson and Fernandinho arrived in it for practice ahead of the Copa America 2019. In July 2021, Neymar shared a picture of himself posing with the chopper. The aircraft reportedly cost Neymar around USD 13 million.
A general H145 is a four-tonne, twin-engine rotorcraft which can carry up to 10 passengers and two pilots in a higher-density configuration. It has a range of around 650 km and a maximum speed of 260 km/h. According to Airbus, the helicopter incurs low-maintenance costs and has a high in-service time.
Primarily used for civilian purposes, such as air ambulance roles and local law enforcement duties, in several countries, military variants of the aircraft are in the fleet of Royal Thai Army, German Air Force and Royal Air Force, among others.
Ferrari and Maserati
Private aircraft and helicopters aside, Neymar has a number of cars to fuel his passion for speed and desire for extravagance. Though the PSG striker doesn’t seem to have as many numbers in his garages as Portuguese great Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar’s cars are certainly among the most sought-after and costliest machines.
The highlight in his fleet is a Ferrari 458 Italia, one of the finest automobiles to have ever been produced and one that is also owned by prominent celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Floyd Mayweather and Rihanna. The car reportedly cost Neymar somewhere above USD 200,000. Powered by a 4.5-litre V8 engine, the car has a top speed of 337 km/h. Reports suggest that the car appears to be Neymar’s favourite, as he has often been seen driving it.
Neymar also has a Maserati MC12, only 50 units of which exist in the world. ‘Stradale,’ as the car’s road-going version is known, has a top speed of over 330 km/h. Produced in the early 2000s, the car was at the time priced at around USD 750,000. Since only 50 were ever made, its resale value today is in millions.
In 2019, Sotheby’s had a 2005 model MC12 on its auction lot. Though the car went unsold, it was expected to fetch between USD 2.6 and USD 3.5 million.
The Sun reports that Neymar has three Audi cars — Audi RS7, Audi Q7 and Audi R8 Spyder. He has been previously seen driving a blue RS7 to the training ground when he was with Barcelona — a club that Audi sponsored until 2019.
It is not clear when Neymar bought the cars, but two of them — RS7 and R8 Spyder — are quite expensive.
The 2023 RS7 models are fitted with an 8-speed V8 twin-turbo engine which can take the car from 0 to 96 km/h in 3.2 seconds. Reports suggest that the price of the car is around USD 120,000.
The latest edition R8 Spyder costs around USD 200,000. It comes with a naturally aspirated V10 engine and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds.
The Q7 is a seven-seater luxury SUV. The price of the 2023 car model is around USD 90,000.
Lykan Hypersport and Lamborghini Veneno
The Lykan Hypersport is one of the fastest cars of all time, clocking a top speed of around 355 km/h delivered by its Boxer Type, 228.6 in3, 3756 cc Flat 6 twin-turbocharged engine. Produced by UAE-based W Motors, the car is super-exclusive as only seven have ever been produced.
But the highlight of the car isn’t its incredible speed of acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds; it is the fact that Lykan Hypersport has 440 diamonds lined in the LED headlights. It is also the world’s first car with a holographic mid-air display system with interactive motion control.
Neymar is believed to be one of those who own a USD 3.5 million Lykan Hypersport, a car that was featured in one of the Fast & Furious films.
The other supercar believed to be in Neymar’s garage is a Lamborghini Veneno. The high-speed car has a 6.5-litre aspirated V12 engine, which gives Veneno a top speed of 355 km/h. The limited-edition roadster was originally priced at USD 4.5 million.
Today, any Lamborghini Veneno can fetch upwards of several millions for its current owners at auction. In fact, a Lamborghini Veneno was reportedly auctioned for USD 8.3 million in 2019. It set a record for the most expensive Lamborghini ever sold at auction. In 2022, another Lamborghini Veneno was offered for sale for USD 11 million.
Neymar also had a Porsche Panamera reportedly worth between USD 400,000 and USD 550,000, but it was seized by Brazilian Internal Revenue Service in 2014 over alleged irregularities connected to its import into the country. The footballer received the car after winning a bet with his father, Neymar Santos Sr., in 2011. It is unclear if the car was returned to him.
In January 2022, Neymar announced that he had purchased two Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs.
The BAYC is a set of 10,000 unique tokens centred around a bored-looking ape. All tokens are tradeable on the NFT trading platform Open Sea.
One of Neymar’s BAYC tokens, number #6633, features a pink-coloured ape wearing a birthday hat, a tuxedo and futuristic shades. The ape is seen blowing bubble gum. The total value of the two NFTs was reportedly around USD 1.1 million.
When Neymar made the purchase, the market for NFTs was witnessing a phenomenal level of growth. But by the end of 2022, the market had gone into a sharp decline.
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Following the FTX collapse involving Sam Bankman-Fried, the NFT and related cryptocurrency market went even further down. By mid-November, the floor price, or lowest ranking price, of BAYC tokens on Open Sea was only around USD 65,000.
Based on this, reports suggested that Justin Bieber’s BAYC token, which he bought in January 2022 for USD 1.3 million, was worth only around USD 60,000, especially because it didn’t have any distinguishing traits.
The worth of BAYC #6633, one of Neymar’s tokens, has also gone down to just around USD 61,000 from its price of around USD 500,000 in January.
Mansions in Brazil
Multiple media reports in December 2021 said that Neymar bought a mansion in Brazil for around USD 3.25 million. The property has seven bedrooms, a large swimming pool, a squash court, a cocktail bar, a panoramic lift between floors, and a 20-car garage.
The building has a glass façade and, according to Brazilian news website Em Off, is located in the Alphaville near São Paulo within a gated residential area.
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The PSG star also owns a six-bedroom mansion near Rio de Janeiro. The mansion is equipped with ultimate luxurious facilities such as a massage room, a spa, a sauna and a heated jacuzzi. It sits on a massive 10,100-square-metre property with a tennis court, a large gym and an underground cellar which can store 3,000 bottles of wine. It is so huge that it has its own jetty and a helipad, where Neymar keeps his chopper.
According to the 2012 Forbes report, Neymar had purchased a USD 750,000 triplex, a USD 150,000 apartment and a USD 2 million mansion in the state of São Paulo in the first two years of his senior career. He had also gifted a penthouse worth USD 1 million in Santos to Carolina Dantas, the mother of his only child.
It is not clear which of the properties he bought for his own use are still in Neymar’s possession, but he went on to add to his real estate portfolio.
He has a mansion in Beverly Hills, California, US. Measuring around 2,040 square metres, the property has seven bedrooms, a home theatre, multiple tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a wine cellar. In June 2016, Bieber was seen at Neymar’s Beverly Hills house. In a video posted by Bieber and re-shared by Neymar, the two stars can be seen playing with a football on the lawn of the property.
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While in Paris, Neymar lives in a five-storey house measuring around 1,000 square metres and worth an estimated USD 7.7 million. The Sun reports that the footballer doesn’t own the property but is a tenant. The rent is around USD 16,600 per month.
The property was built in the 1950s and is around 16 km from Paris city centre. It has a large swimming pool in its basement and a garden measuring around 465 square metres. The Sun says that French acting icon Gerard Depardieu is believed to be the former owner of the property.
(Main image: Brasil Football/@BrasilEdition/Twitter; Featured image: NJ/@neymarjr/Instagram)
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.