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Real Madrid CF
Posted by Nicholas Rigg on 11/09/2011

Sitting in my bottom draw is a crisp, clean and pure white home shirt of Los Blancos. It's this season's kit, it's perhaps not so crisp anymore after wearing it a few times, but I haven't overworn it. Why? Because when you buy the shirt you're advised that if you want a player name and number on the back you should get it done straight away. Why, I have no idea, and it probably doesn't matter at all. As you can tell, I wasn't tempted with a player's name on the back. I'm 27 after all, aren't I too old for a name and number on the back of my shirt?

The reason for buying it blank wasn't down to the above reason, though. I probably wish it was. This is Real Madrid we're talking about here, I'm spoilt for choice for world-class players on the back. Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain, Benzema, Alonso, Di Maria, Ozil, Ramos - the possibilities are endless, and for a while I was opting for Higuain. I was all-set for a trip to the Bernabeu before the league match against Betis, new shirt in tow, but something told me to wait.

That something was a young Brazilian called Neymar, I'm sure you've all heard of him. You're Madridistas, of course you've heard of him! For the last who-knows-how-many months the media in Spain, South America and across the world has been suggesting the talented young attacker would be at the Bernabeu anytime soon.

The reports looked clear-cut - other top European sides such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Inter Milan were out of the running for the highly-rated Santos player and that left Madrid and Barcelona, and Madrid were front runners. Neymar looked Madrid bound. It was as if the rumour, the speculation and all the talk surrounding his future had all-but stopped because the press knew just what was going on. The two parties had agreed a deal in principle but nothing had been finalised, so nothing could be reported as being done and dusted. Madrid were keeping quiet, it reminded me of the quiet before the storm of signing Ronaldo. Neymar wanted to stay at Santos until they competed in the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan in December and after that he'd fly to the Spanish capital. If not then, next summer.

Could he play in the same team as Ronaldo? How would the pair slot in the Madrid team? Where would Kaka, Ozil and Di Maria play? Just how good will Neymar be for Madrid? Is he the next Galactico? The questions had started to be asked before the Brazilian had even signed for Madrid. All the questions, for now at least, can be put to rest.

Neymar, and his club Santos, today announced that he's signed a new deal with the club that will run until 2014, just before Brazil host the next World Cup. Neymar's happy, his family is happy, and Santos are happy. Madridistas, are not. Whether the 19-year-old had agreed a deal in principle with Madrid is anyone's guess for the time being. The player himself has said that his dad took care of any offers and didn't let him know, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that he had some idea.

GOING NOWHERE: Brazilian striker Neymar ©GettyImages

Neymar said in a statement: "I want to thank those clubs [Barcelona and Madrid] who were interested in my football, and the fans who wanted to see me there. It is a great honour to have two huge clubs wanting my football. The clubs wanted me to go over there, but we all have to make choices in our lives. And today, my choice was Santos."

Today, he choice was staying with Santos. Tomorrow it could be a different story. In modern football contracts mean little. If Madrid were as desperate to land him as they were Ronaldo, and offer £80 million for his services, Santos wouldn't think twice about it. As daft as it sounds, the ball is almost in Madrid's court again. If they want him, plump up the cash for him, if they don't want him, they can wait.

Waiting, as impatient as I, and many others probably are, may not be the worst thing to do for Madrid. Who knows where the club and star players like Ronaldo, Higuain and Kaka will be in four years' time? One thing's for sure, if Neymar is the next superstar in waiting, he'll certainly be a better player in four years' time. He's 19 now, his contract will end when he's 23. That's pretty good timing if Madrid are to snap him up then for next to nothing. More experienced and with, hopefully, the experience of a World Cup in the bag too.

Looking at it from Neymar's point of view, signing the new contract does make sense. He's happy at Santos, that's clear for all to see. That's not saying he doesn't at some point want a move to Europe, but at the moment he's happy and he's still young with his whole football career ahead of him. He has the FIFA World Club Cup coming up in December and he has the World Cup in his home country, and the country he'll be playing his domestic football in, in 2014. Brazil will certainly be one big party in the year or so running up to the World Cup, and Neymar will be there for it.

In the meantime, we Madridistas (and indeed Barca fans) will have to watch on in awe at his silky skills from afar, keeping everything crossed that one day the talent that is Neymar will someday grace the Bernabeu. The rumour and speculation can be put on hold for the time being. The Madrid shirt came remain blank, with no name on the back. By the time Neymar will be coming to the end of his Santos contract (and indeed when he says he's going to stay until) I'll be 30 - is that too old to get a player's name and number on the back of your shirt? Hopefully not...

Hala Madrid!

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Posted by rondon fernandes on 11/09/2011

In Brazil, neymar is the center of attentions, in a club that helped him to be a principal in the Brazilian national team. In Europe, despite of the visibility-experience-world wide success, he would need to prove that is not a talent for tomorrow, and hustle in other to dont be in the bench, among so many stars. And after seeing what happened to Kaka and Robinho, i guess he decided to wait for a better timing for this move. In my opinion if applauses make him happy, any great club in Europe would put him in much higher stage than to be the principal of santos-brazilian team, his current status.

Posted by Ana on 11/10/2011

You are NEVER too old to have a player's name on the back of your jersey :)

Posted by Shakil on 11/10/2011

as a madridista and a supporter of brazil...i would love to see neymar as a madrid player...
But i think his decision is right...bcz at the age of's not the r8 time to emerge as a starting player at madrid...moreover neymar usualy is a left winger just like ronaldo...and we also have di maria...
after 3 years neymar will be a great signing for madrid...
And i bet if neymar move to europe...then the team will be Real Madrid...

Posted by Neymar dot TV on 11/10/2011

he is really young and he will still be young in 2014 you can see his videos on Neymar dot TV.

Posted by vishal bhartia on 11/10/2011

happiest person he is not coming, madrid dont need him.

he needs to tone down his ego and i prefer our current crop of players

Posted by Henry Nagbe on 11/10/2011

We d fans of Madrid are waiting to c u in a madrid shit Neymar. We love u and will wait 4 u so if u decide to go to europe pls join real mmadrid. from liberia

Posted by damien antoine on 11/10/2011

madrid is d best team for you,wen ronaldo injured neymar will fit in well to dat jus like how robinho did at madrid,picture ronaldo and neymar on the field dammm,it cant get any better dan dat

Posted by outerspacedout on 11/10/2011

His previous contract was until 2015, now it's until 2014. And remember Falcao also signed a contract during the Copa America with Porto before Atleti plumped up a lot of cash for him, and Aguero signed a new one with Atleti (where his buy-out clause was actually lowered from 60mil to 45mil, incidentally) a few months before his City move.

Doesn't make any difference to the situation imo. Just like it was before, Madrid can just pay a lot and get him transferred in the summer.

Posted by Emily on 11/10/2011

It's a good article but I don't want him anywhere near Madrid until he gets a few more years on him and gets his attitude/ego in check. He has absolutely no experience in European play and I'd rather Madrid try and get Eden Hazard instead of some 19 year-old wonderkid.

Posted by Ututofon Ekop on 11/10/2011

Neymar should b sent 2 Arsenal 2 gain experience and age

Posted by FORCA BLUES!!! on 11/10/2011

This guy is such a douche and liar,once he said that he dreams of Chelsea move but then Pele the party pooper came in and stopped it from happening in summer of 2010.Then he said he dreams of Madrid or Barca move.Pathetic isn't it??make up your mind kid

Posted by Anonymous on 11/10/2011

Real should make do with the players they have first. The should try and make a team at of them, cos i can not see anything like team work in the club not to make measure of the squard of players they are parading. Pls. Mourinho do something before something else happen to you

Posted by kermitence of Indonesia on 11/10/2011

This all Neymar to Madrid thing is fabrication made by agent and Santos president. Florentino Perez is not the same person 5 or 2 years ago. Now he's got Financial Fair Play in his mind, he wont splash 53m for a player unless he's Lionel Messi. It's indicated by his denying of the 30m deal for Coentrao. Neymar is a good raw player that needs a lot of polish to be a superstars especially in his personality side. We don't want another Robinho coming to bust in Valdebebas. I think we will see Neymar wear sky blue jersey in one year.

Posted by Garrett on 11/10/2011

lots of players are bought still with contracts. actually every big name transfer has been bought for a sum of money thus they are on contract and not free. neymar is still possible. we bought ronaldo while he was still contracted to manu. pointless blog. this new contract probably just gives a higher buy-out clause. think about it. hala madrid!

Posted by Justin on 11/10/2011

I'm actually pretty glad he's not coming. Nothing against him as I haven't seen him play too often, but he'd just sit on the bench probably. If he doesn't get playing time, he'd be upset, especially with WC 2014 coming up in his home country. He'll want to be there. Not at all surprised he decided to stay and not risk a move where he may or may not get first team action.

Posted by keneike on 11/10/2011

I think it's best for Neymar and Madrid he remains in Brazil for a while. Enough time to deal with the ego and attitude stuff. We're doing very well without him.

Posted by Samuca on 11/10/2011

Nick, just because he signed a contract extension, still doesnt mean he wont be coming next summer. im sure Madrid have bought several players with still a couple years left on their contracts, why not Neymar? The only thing this contract extension does is that it will give him a payraise, as well as giving Santos the option of increasing the buy-out clause for him. I think this is just a move on Santos' part to squeeze every cent that Neymar is worth; dont be surprised if he actually does come to Madrid next summer...

Posted by Anonymous on 11/10/2011

he is better then missi bt not better dan cr7 go go go go

Posted by chelsea fan... on 11/10/2011

i think the kid made a great decision, if he was the one who made it at all.. madrid care about shirt sales,the fans including me love to be entertained so in that case his transfer would be encouraged.. but considering the plaxers well being i have to agree with his decision.. he gets his increase, he is happx in brazil with his familx... i like when plaxers end up happx and not clubs or fans, we'll alwaxs be fans, the club will alwaxs be around but he gets to be a top plaxer once.. enjox it.. as for vhe name and number, ozil is mx personal favourite.. adios
p.s y on my kevboard isn working

Posted by Brett on 11/10/2011

I'm pleasantly surprised to see the number of Madridistas who don't merely want the shiny new toy in the window any longer. I've expressed my concerns about Neymar on several occasions. Frankly, he doesn't fit in the current system imho.

If Flor is hellbent on spending money, he may want to add some depth at the rightback position as Sergio looks to become first choice CB alongside Pepe and there's very little depth behind Arbeloa in that case.

Posted by eddie on 11/10/2011

neymar will allways have some offers!!!

Posted by i am gray on 11/10/2011

getting tired of Barca and Madrid picking up all these worldy talents. La Liga is completely washed up. Kid needs to come to the EPL

Posted by Ranjan89 on 11/10/2011

Kids will only go to EPL when EPL teams becomes the best in the world in all terms . Hala MADRID!:D

Posted by a small complaint on 11/10/2011

Your ability to use commas correctly is seriously lacking for someone who writes for the supposed "Worldwide Leader."

Posted by Lombe Chileshe on 11/11/2011

logical analyses would suggest that this means Neymar will be staying at Santos for another year. False! Neymar’s new contract actually runs one year less than his previous one. This contract expired in 2014 (it used to be 2015) and hence forces Santos to let go of Neymar either in the summer of 2012 or January of 2013. The reason behind that is because if the club doesn’t send him off before then, his price would plummet as he will be a player in his last year of contract.

Posted by saviour umoh on 11/11/2011

neymar make a gud choice bcos he cn't be d starting line up for madrid wit ronaldo stil alive. I think madrid will not favour him at all wit a lot of stars there. Barcelona will d favourite 4 d star wonder kid. I love seeing him wear d barcelona shirt by d year 2012 or 2013. Bt 4 nw he is nt qualified 2 play in any of d team. I love u 2 play 4 barcelona. UP FCB we r d champions.

Posted by Regret on 11/12/2011

Has anyone heard of a player by the name of Ronaldo? And no, I don't mean Cristiano....I mean, THE Ronaldo. Doea anyone know when he left Brazil? I'll tell you. 17. How did that work for him? Multiple World Cup appearences,world players of the year, World Cups, Champions League trophies, league titles, personal goal scoring records, etc....another words, he put himself in a position to where he had no choice but to prove he is the best. And he took it head on. I respect Neymar and his decision, but he is one stupid futballer if he thinks he can ever be considered one of the best players in the world if he can't show that on the best stage...Europe. Brazilian league has plenty of flair and style, but that is exactly just that, flair and what!? At 19, he has the world ahead of him but when the best, richest club in the world offers you the opportunity of a take it, b/c there are never any guarantees in the future...that's exactly what Ronaldo told him.

Posted by Felipe Gama on 11/13/2011

To the guy who asked if we ever heard of Ronaldo:

Have you ever heard of Pele? He won 3 WCs, including one when he was only 17 years old, being a key player. And he never played in Europe.

Of course Europe has the best football in the world now, but what is now compared to history? From the 40s to the 80s South America had the best club football in the World. In the last 20 years Europe has taken over, but that doesn't mean it's set forever. It has changed before and can change again, and with Europe's financial problems and the decision by players like Neymar, South America has a good chance of becoming the center of football again.

About Neymar by the way, there's nothing (too much) wrong with his eprsonality and ego. He's a little flashy but humble (he recently said he does not think he is among the top 10 best players in the world). Most of these transfer news were pure speculation by the Spanish media, there was never any TRUE indication of him leaving Santos.

Posted by Sheku tarawally on 11/13/2011

I think he should move to narcs,it suits his style of football

Posted by mtc on 11/14/2011

Ive been a true football fan for many years now, following most major leagues across the world, and Felipe Gama - You are right - Europe has dominated football for a long time, but financially, with the next 4-6 years belonging to the BRIC countries in terms of growth and opportunity, but I have been living in Brazil for almost 2 decades and I have never seen their football as alive and full of big names as they are today. They could put together 3 more national teams and all would be in the top 20 in the world. A new era has happened here, as temporary as it may be, where many of the top name players are returning from Europe. Ronaldinho Gaucho, Fred, Deco, Juninho Pernambucano, Felipe, Luis Fabiano - Its awesome to see - And with so many foreign investments coming in between now and Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, I don't see it stopping anytime soon. Its possible Neymarm may stay till after 2016, who knows?

Posted by rick james on 11/18/2011

Original ronaldo never won a Cl trophy but he is the best of all time in my book, all I can say is olf trafford the best game i have ever seen

Posted by Oba Adenuga on 12/21/2011

I Personally feel Neymar has made a good decision although as a madrid fan,i av been longing him to Play for Realmadrid. But I know the media has mis-led we the fans altogether with the newz and Rumours.If by 2014 Neymar improves his play and talent and becomes more matured as a player and person.Then am 100% Guaranteed that Don Perez would go for him.i KNOW Barca doesn't want to see the boy in a White Jersey.But trust me.Come Rain come Sunshine,I know Barcelona will not have the Financial Muscle of Realmadrid by 2014.So lets all Wait and see the end of the story.

Posted by Foge on 01/18/2012

Good points all around. Truly apprecieatd.

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