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.