How Neymar turned down Chelsea in 2010 | inside World Soccer

How Neymar turned down Chelsea in 2010

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar has recalled the moment which prompted him to stay in Brazil with Santos and not move to Chelsea in 2010.

Neymar was bought by Barcelona last summer for a reported deal of around £50 million, but his career may have taken a whole new path if he had agreed four years ago after Chelsea agreed a £25 million deal with Santos.

In an extract published by The Daily Mail of his new book "Neymar: My Story - Conversations With My Father", Neymar wrote:

It was August 23, 2010. My father and I had a meeting with president Luis Álvaro at the Santos headquarters, inside the Vila Belmiro. Chelsea had made a huge transfer bid. In the middle of our conversation, the president turned off the lights and pointed at an empty chair.

'This is the chair of the great national sports hero. Since Ayrton Senna's death, this chair is vacant. If Neymar Jr stays in Santos and refuses Chelsea's proposal, he will give his first step to sit in this chair.'

That made us think. That decision would be a turning point in my life. Even Pelé called me. Can you imagine how important I felt? The King of Football called and asked me to stay.

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.


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