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Neymar ‘promises’ to return to former club Santos in 2025

Brazilian hot-shot Neymar is said to have promised his first club that he’ll return to play for them in 2025. Neymar, who joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer, is already eyeing a potential return to his native Brazil to play for Santos.

New reports in UOL via Mundo Deportivo said Neymar was present to present the Campeonato Paulista trophy prior to Santos’ first-leg final clash with rivals, Palmeiras. Neymar reportedly set foot in the Santos dressing room and promised the squad that he would return to don the famous black-and-white jersey of Santos in 2025.

Neymar’s affinity for Alvinegro

It was at Santos where Neymar made his name in Brazilian football, scoring 72 times in 140 appearances for the club. He helped Santos to lift six major trophies during this period, including a coveted Copa Libertadores back in 2011. His eye-catching displays earnt Neymar a move into European football before his latest sojourn into the Middle East.

It’s fair to say Neymar has made just as many headlines off the pitch in recent years as he has on it. The 32-year-old has been a hugely marketable figure in the football world since his upbringing at Santos and life-changing move to Barcelona.

Neymar Jr.’s endorsement deals have propelled him beyond the football field. In recent years, he’s aligned with some of the biggest global brands on the planet, namely Gillette, Nike, and Red Bull. His partnership with PokerStars, one of the top poker sites in the world for Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and other poker formats, demonstrates his appeal beyond traditional sports endorsements.

Neymar brings his charisma and global influence to a brand, demonstrating his entrepreneurial spirit, while being one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.

Neymar’s Saudi Pro League move has yet to catch fire

At his current club, Al-Hilal, Neymar has only managed five appearances since his ground-breaking switch from PSG to the lucrative Saudi Pro League. Neymar was one of the many players across Europe’s top leagues to depart for Saudi Arabia last summer. However, despite being the poster boy for Al-Hilal’s season, things haven’t gone exactly to plan.

Neymar sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the fall of last year, which has kept him out of action ever since. Neymar penned a two-year contract to play for Al-Hilal, which means he’s contracted for the 2024/25 Saudi Pro League but would then be a free agent in the summer of 2025. This would enable him to return to his homeland and finish his career with Santos.

There is a 12-month option included in Neymar’s Al-Hilal contract. However, the option has to be mutually agreed by both parties. If Neymar has his heart set on a move back to Santos, Al-Hilal won’t be able to stand in his way.

Santos have achieved very little since the departure of their prodigal son in 2013. They’ve won the Campeonato Paulista twice in 2015 and 2016 but it’s been two decades since their last Serie A national triumph.

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