Neymar says he wants to stay in Brazil for now

Brazil striker Neymar says he is happy in Brazil and has no

intention of leaving the country to play abroad.

Neymar said in an interview with Bandeirantes TV on Thursday

that he doesn’t know what the future holds for him, but at the

moment his desire was to keep playing for Santos in Brazil, near

his family and friends.

”Happiness is everything, so when you are happy there is no

reason to change anything,” Neymar said. ”This is my country, my

family is here, I have no intention of leaving.”

The 19-year-old Neymar is one of the most talked-about

youngsters in Brazilian football and several European clubs

reportedly have been trying to sign him. Last year, he rejected a

multimillion euro (dollar) offer from Chelsea.

Interest only grew after he scored both goals in Brazil’s 2-0

win over Scotland in London last Sunday. He acknowledged that after

the match he had dinner with a Chelsea representative, but said

transfer talks never came up and said the dinner took place only

because his agent was a friend of the Chelsea representative.

”I don’t know if I’ll play abroad,” he said. ”But right now I

have a contract with Santos (until 2015) and I want to stay.”

Neymar said he was proud to have his name linked to teams such

as Chelsea and Barcelona, and doesn’t deny that eventually he would

like playing for such great teams.

The striker complained he was racially taunted by Scotland

supporters when a banana was thrown near him at the Brazil match,

but he later downplayed the issue and said it’s already in the


Officials dismissed the allegations of racist taunts, saying

that a German tourist in the Brazilian fan section threw the

banana. London police said they received no official reports of

racism, and the Scottish Football Association on Thursday requested

an apology from Neymar and Brazil.

Neymar didn’t talk about the apology request and the Brazilian

football federation said it would not immediately comment.

Last year, Neymar helped Santos win the traditional Sao Paulo

state championship and the Brazilian Cup, along with playmaker

Paulo Henrique Ganso, who is another Brazilian player being

talked-about abroad. The two are expected to lead Brazil when it

hosts the 2014 World Cup.

The 21-year-old Ganso, who has just recovered from a left knee

injury that sidelined him for several months, reportedly is already

negotiating with Inter Milan and AC Milan. Unlike Neymar, Ganso is

yet to renew his contract with Santos.