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15 Neymar Jr. Balmain Olivier Rousteing

Interview with Neymar Jr.: “I hope I’ll make the Parisians even happier”

Culture

As a rightful heir to the kings Pelé, Ronaldo, and other Brazilian gods of football, Neymar Jr. chose to play for the Paris Saint-Germain five years ago. After renewing his contract in 2021, the star, whose presence in the City of Light remains a miracle, is not done making his Parisian fans dream.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, portait taken on September 8 2022 at Hôtel du Parc Bougival, rue Yvan-Tourgueneff, Bougival. Breastplate in metal, BALMAIN. Denis pants, REPLAY. Necklace and watch, private belonging.
Creative partner : Dovile Drizyte. Hair : Quentin Guyen at Walter Schupfer Management with Redken products. Make up : Laurie Moreau with Typology products. Assistant photographer : Tom Ortiz. Retouche : Lucas Rios Palazesi chez Quickfix. Special thanks to Skander Bayar, Sport Development Manager Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, portait taken on September 8 2022 at Hôtel du Parc Bougival, rue Yvan-Tourgueneff, Bougival. Breastplate in metal, BALMAIN. Denis pants, REPLAY. Necklace and watch, private belonging.
Creative partner : Dovile Drizyte. Hair : Quentin Guyen at Walter Schupfer Management with Redken products. Make up : Laurie Moreau with Typology products. Assistant photographer : Tom Ortiz. Retouche : Lucas Rios Palazesi chez Quickfix. Special thanks to Skander Bayar, Sport Development Manager
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, portait taken on September 8 2022 at Hôtel du Parc Bougival, rue Yvan-Tourgueneff, Bougival. Breastplate in metal, BALMAIN. Denis pants, REPLAY. Necklace and watch, private belonging.
Creative partner : Dovile Drizyte. Hair : Quentin Guyen at Walter Schupfer Management with Redken products. Make up : Laurie Moreau with Typology products. Assistant photographer : Tom Ortiz. Retouche : Lucas Rios Palazesi chez Quickfix. Special thanks to Skander Bayar, Sport Development Manager

Find this feature in Numéro Homme 44, available in newsstands and on iPad on October 14 2022.

 

 

The gods of football, who surely reside in Brazil for part of the year, have undoubtedly all been watching over Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior’s cradle, known as Neymar Jr., to make him the new football prodigy. At the age of five, his exceptional talent had already been noticed. After signing his first professional contract with Santos, the club in which king Pelé himself played, he became part of the mythical trio of strikers of the FC Barcelona, the famous “MSN” – Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar Jr. – from 2013 onwards. As if football was his mother tongue, Neymar Jr. combines exceptional dribbling skills, a good sense of striking, an unstoppable technique and agility with the ball at his feet. When he signed for the Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, his fans couldn’t believe that such a talent would fly the Parisian flag. “In Brazil, we often joke about how children are born with a ball at their feet, or how their parents have already picked a team for them,” comments the stellar player. “But it’s not much different here in France. Fans are in love with football, and stadiums are always full. As for PSG fans, they are fanatics of the club. They send an incredible energy to the players that helps us fight until the last minute of the match.”

 

Five years later, Neymar Jr. is still here, clearly happy to be part of the team’s project. The PSG may be flying high at the top of Ligue 1 and racking up titles, but the goal that all PSG fans dream of has yet to be achieved – winning the Champions League. A star among stars, the Brazilian striker could have grown tired and bored of football. But his love for the game does not fade away. “Football is my passion. Every time I go out on the pitch, I feel happy to do what I love the most in this world,” he explains. “I have had five years of work, of good times, and of victories with the PSG. I still have more titles to win, and I hope I will make the Parisians even happier.”

 

Footballers being stalked and scrutinized from every angle is no secret. They are constantly evolving under the public eye. So, taking care of their look is almost a formal requirement and often a pleasure gladly displayed on Instagram. “I have always liked to show my personality through what I wear,” he explains. “Paris exudes fashion, and I feel privileged to be able to live in a city that is a real reference in the field and is also becoming a reference in the world of football.” The player has often been spotted sitting in the front row of the Balmain fashion show – and also riding in his sedan chased by a madding crowd of fans shouting their love for him. Loyal to the fashion house, the PSG star striker has bonded with artistic director Olivier Rousteing over the years and never missed greeting him backstage. “I have a huge admiration for Olivier’s story and talent. He has a beautiful personality, it is obvious that he loves what he does, and the love of the audience rewards the quality of his work.”

 

Brazil remains engraved in his heart. With the Seleção, the national team, Neymar Jr. is about to play his third World Cup, eager and proud to wear the yellow, green, and blue jersey once again. With Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr., the social project he started in 2014, he helps underprivilege people in his home country. “It is a source of pride for me and my family. We offer children and families better opportunities. I grew up in the neighborhood where we built the Institute, and I’m really glad that, through football, we can offer young people a place to study, play sports, take care of their health and dream of a future profession.”