He had worn the comma since he was 13, even before playing professional: Neymar separated from Nike after fifteen years from one of the biggest sponsorship contracts of the American equipment manufacturer.
“I confirm that Neymar is no longer a Nike athlete,” said Josh Benedek, a spokesperson for the group, in an email to AFP on the night of Saturday to Sunday, without providing further details.
Media claim the 28-year-old Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward is in talks with Nike’s German rivals Puma.
“We generally do not comment on rumors,” simply reacted a spokeswoman for Puma in Germany, contacted by AFP.
Neymar’s communications team did not respond to AFP’s requests for an immediate reaction.
According to the Brazilian news site UOL, Neymar and Nike failed to reach an agreement on the amount of remuneration of the player for the renewal of the
e his contract. Negotiations between its agents and the equipment manufacturer reached an impasse several months ago, according to UOL.
The Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo assures that the last contract signed by Neymar with Nike lasted eleven years to expire in 2022, for a total of 105 million dollars (88 million euros).
The N.10 of the Brazil team will always wear a comma jersey within his national team, linked to Nike.
Nike had signed the player when he was only 13 years old and had not yet appeared in the professional team within Santos, the legendary club of Pelé, in the state of Sao Paulo. But internet users were already raving about the preteen’s dribbling, the first example of a fledgling celebrity via YouTube.
Neymar, well beyond the green field where he is part of the glorious line of the Brazilian No.10, quickly became a brand, millionaire in dollars and in followers on social networks. Her personality is as smooth as her colorful look – bling-bling clothes and accessories, studied hairstyles, tattoos galore.
“Ney” feeds his fans like no one else with the chronicle of his footballing exploits as well as of extra-sports scenes, images of parties and private life, with in particular his sister and his son or his ex-girlfriend, the starlet of telenovela Bruna Marquezine, passing through the fashion register and all-round advertising.
Forbes magazine, which ranks him as the seventh highest-paid celebrities in the world, estimates his income for this year at $ 95.5 million, including sponsorship deals.
But the Neymar brand has also suffered some setbacks in recent years, such as his fiscal troubles in Spain when he played at FC Barcelona (2013-2017), his simulations at the 2018 World Cup, which have covered him with ridicule according to his detractors. , and his repeated injuries to Paris SG which cast a shadow over the huge transfer in the summer of 2017, a record 222 million euros and his name on the Eiffel Tower as a bonus.
But there were also the rape accusations made by a young Brazilian woman last year. Nike then expressed its “deep concern”, before assuring the player of its support once the case was closed by the Brazilian police for lack of evidence.
Neymar, who aspired to become the best player in the world by coming to Paris and thus coming out of the Barcelona shadow of Lionel Messi, participated in a preponderant way in 2019-2020 in the conquest of the national grand slam (victories in the French Championship , Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions) and reached a very high level that season according to observers and game specialists.
But two facts prevented him from taking full advantage of it: the coronavirus pandemic has chopped this season with a cut of several months, and PSG failed to win the Champions League by losing in the final against Bayern Munich (1 -0 on August 23), after a half-hearted match from “Ney”.