Ten moments from Neymar's ten Brazil years
Today marks the tenth anniversary of Neymar's international debut
FIFA.com selects ten milestone moments from his Brazil career
Superb showings against Argentina, Germany, Spain and Uruguay feature
10 August 2010 Friendly New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford
It was probably the most anticipated Seleção bow since Ronaldo against Argentina in 1994. Neymar, who had been left out of Brazil’s 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ squad despite an ear-splitting drum for his inclusion, took just 28 minutes to open his international account, albeit in a fashion nobody foresaw, firmly heading a left-wing cross past Tim Howard.
28 September 2011 Superclasico de las Americas Estadio Olimpico do Para, Belem
Neymar, alongside Lucas Moura and Ronaldinho in a crowd-thrilling triumvirate behind Borges, was unplayable. His goal helped Brazil beat their fierce enemies in the first edition of the tournament.
30 June 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Neymar scored superb volleys against Japan and Mexico, and a stunning free-kick against Italy, in the group stage, and he did it when it mattered most. Spain had won the previous World Cup and previous two UEFA EUROs, but the Mogi das Cruzes native thundered the ball into Iker Casillas’s net and produced a bewitching feint to help Fred seal a 3-0 victory and the trophy.
12 June 2014 Brazil 2014 Morumbi, Sao Paulo
In his World Cup debut, and his 50th international, Neymar equalised from outside the box and gave Brazil the lead from the spot in a 3-1 victory in front of 62,000 euphoric fans.
14 October 2014 International Friendly Jalan Besar Stadium, Kallang
Brazil won 4-0. They had merely one marksman. Enough said.
20 August 2016 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Olympic football gold was the only missing medal from Brazil’s majestic men’s football collection, with Neymar himself a runner-up in 2012. The final hurdle they required to climb to get it? Germany. Although many of the German players were different to the side that had humiliated them 7-1 in the Brazil 2014 semi-finals, the symbolism was not lost on anyone.
A sublime Neymar free-kick nevertheless broke the deadlock, only for Max Meyer to send it to a shoot-out. After the first eight penalties were scored, Weverton denied Nils Petersen, leaving Neymar to win it for Brazil and burst into tears.
10 November 2016 Russia 2018 qualifying Mineirao, Belo Horizonte
It was the battle of the Barcelona mega-stars, and while Lionel Messi was quiet, Neymar delivered an exceptional performance. His hypnotising dribbles tortured the Argentinians throughout, while he helped set up the first with a mercurially-flicked pass and scored the second to become the fourth player to reach 50 goals for Brazil – after Pele (77), Romario (55) and Ronaldo (62) – and inspire a 3-0 victory.
24 March 2017 Russia 2018 qualifying Centenario, Montevideo
Paulinho, a central midfielder, hit a hat-trick, yet he insisted Neymar deserved the man-of-the-match award. “Ten [out of ten],” insisted Paulinho of Neymar’s performance in a 4-1 comeback victory, which included a sumptuous lob.
2 July 2018 Russia 2018 Samara Arena, Samara
Neymar was electrifying in the first half, and forced Guillermo Ochoa into one huge stop. In the second, the Brazil No10 produced a delicious dribble and back-heel to free Willian, whose fierce, low cross was turned in by the outstretched leg of Neymar. The Paris Saint-Germain man then created the late sealer for Roberto Firmino to send his country into the World Cup quarter-finals.
10 October 2019 Friendly Singapore National Stadium, Kallang
Roberto Carlos had been almost 31 when he became the youngest player to reach 100 caps for Brazil. Neymar was just 27 when he broke the former left-wingback’s record. After being presented with a commemorative shirt by the legendary Bebeto, he said: “I’m really pleased to have reached this landmark. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined playing 100 games for the Seleção. I’m very proud to play for Brazil, but I still want to win the World Cup.”