From Forbes comes some rather surprising news about Brazilian wunderkind Neymar, European soccer’s biggest Brazilian crush since Denilson (oops): the Santos star, at age 20, might already be spending himself into bankruptcy.
Although Brazilian reports have Neymar make $18 million annually, Forbes sports writer Christina Settimi estimates his income is closer to $8 million. Considering Neymar’s extravagant spending (house, flat, penthouse, triplex, child support, Porsche, yacht*), he might be running himself out of money before he’s old enough to buy a legal drink in the United States (not that he would need to buy a legal drink in the U.S., it’s just an easy milestone).
More interesting than Neymar’s Brewster’s Millions type spending is the notion proffered by Settimi that Santos might be encouraging Neymar’s behavior in order to keep him tied to Sao Paulo. The more toys he has in Brazil, and the more money he’s spending on upkeep and familial support, the more likely he is to stick around if Santos stays willing to bankroll him. Santos might even be going so far as to bend rules to keep Neymar’s money flowing and the incentive to stay home strong.
But Neymar is only 20, so he has a good 10 years or more of big money contracts to keep him afloat (barring serious injury). That doesn’t mean he won’t go belly up at some point (as Forbes notes, Romario was $5 million in the hole as recently as 2009, before his election to political office), but it should keep him from running out of money at least until his career is over.
*Thanks for the link, Forbes.