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The ridiculous way Santos' president convinced Neymar not to join Real Madrid in 2011

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Back in 2011, the world was caught up in Neymar fever with every top manager in the European leagues desperate to land the wonder kid from Brazil.

To be fair, in the present day, the scenario is pretty much the same, with the 25-year-old the world's most expensive player at €222m and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar has an almost cult-like status in the game.

During his early days at Santos, where the comparisons to the likes of Pele and Robinho were already flowing in, Neymar was being courted by two clubs; Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The two giants have held a duopoly over La Liga for virtually a decade and were keen to pip the other to the next best thing.

Eventually, the Blaugrana got their way in 2013 when Neymar arrived in Catalonia for an initial £49m fee, although the final price was way higher.

He went on to be a huge success in the side alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, winning the treble in 2015.

But, his path in the game could have been so different because in 2011, Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid were close to landing the then 19-year-old talent.

However, his path to Los Blancos was blocked off and the reason why is pretty ridiculous. Then Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribiero - who left in 2014 - said that it was Mourinho's strict attitude on hair that helped him convince Neymar to stay.

Santos FC forward Neymar stands alone on

THE REASON

"The behaviour of Real Madrid's board of directors was lamentable and arrogant. Their attitude resembled a colonial mentality," Alvaro Ribeiro was quoted as saying by O Estado de Sao Paulo, per Goal.

"I convinced Neymar to stay by telling him that Jose Mourinho would have forced him to cut his hair. He can do with his hair whatever he likes here."

So there you have it, Neymar was convinced due to the fact he wanted to keep the fauxhawk that he was donning back then.

Brazil's Santos striker Neymar reacts as

The Brazilian would come back to haunt Los Blancos during his days with Barca, with his finest performance against them coming in the 4-0 victory at the Bernabeu in 2014.

Neymar and Suarez tore Real's back line to shreds in the absence of Messi, with Rafa Benitez being removed from his post shortly after.

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