Barcelona star Neymar Jr. has revealed that he dreams of playing for Flamengo in the future, thereby sending shock waves across Brazil, as well as to his former club, Santos.
Neymar is widely expected to be labelled the one of the world’s greatest footballers soon, and is wanted by a host of top European clubs. This list includes Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG, and even Barca’s arch-rivals, Real Madrid.
The Brazil international, however, has revealed to Canal Esporte Interativo, that he dreams of playing for Brazilian side Flamengo.
“I have a lot of desire to one day play for Flamengo, with the Maracana full, playing in the Copa Libertadores,” he was reported as saying.
Flamengo are one of the most successful Brazilian clubs, with a very passionate fan base. It is indeed most Brazilian footballers’ dream to play for such a club sometime in their career.
Neymar’s statement may have surprised the Barcelona fans, but it has surely taken the Santos fans by shock. The 25-year old began his career at Santos in Brazil, before making a controversial move to Spain.
It was expected that Neymar would stay at Barcelona throughout his career, or at the most, return to Santos. For those who have closely followed his career, though, this might not come as a huge shock.
The superstar was being hotly pursued by a number of clubs while he was at Santos. The forward decided to join the Catalan side in 2013 though, in a transfer deal that still remains controversial.
The Brazilian club has alleged wrongdoing since, claiming that Barca and Neymar’s family were involved in a deal which got them less money than they should have. These allegations hurt Neymar, who did not send his wishes across to the club on their 115th anniversary.
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“I still have strong sentiments towards Santos. But they went to court against me, and I still don’t know why. There is a lot the people don’t know about. All that’s missing is for the club to claim I wanted to score an own goal in favour of Barcelona during the  Club World Cup,” he said.
Santos had played and lost against Barcelona in the final of the 2011 edition of the Club World Cup, and Neymar played for them then.
However, a transfer to Flamengo seems very unlikely at present, but Neymar has hinted at a move to the Premier League recently. His release clause itself, though, stands at €200 million, and given the status he enjoys at Barcelona and the fans’ admiration for him, it is unlikely he will leave the club anytime soon, especially with a contract until 2021 in place.