Being quite happy at opening a new chapter in your football career doesn’t mean you can’t be a little bit sad. Neymar played in his final match for Santos (for now) in a 0-0 draw against Flamengo, unable to hold back the tears, despite being quite thrilled about joining Barcelona and getting the chance to play next to Lionel Messi.
In a deal worth €54 million, Neymar became the second most expensive Brazilian player (following Kaka) in history, and the most expensive to ever be purchased directly from the league in Brazil.
The 21 year-old forward has been with Santos since the age of 11, joining the senior side in 2009, immediately showing he really is as special as many thought he might be growing up. He scored 14 goals on his debut season, but greater success came next, as he won three consecutive Paulista titles with the team, and the Copa Libertadores in 2011. They won the Recopa Sudamericana in 2012.
He completes his Santos career with 136 goals in 225 matches and a handful of individual awards, including winning two South American footballer of the year awards (2011,2012), being the most talked about South America-to-Europe transfer we’ve had in a very long time, hoping to live up to the huge hype that’s been following him since he became a professional.