After explosive claims in the media yesterday that Santos striker Neymar had all but signed a deal with Chelsea, Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro de Oliveira has revealed the club will hold on to their star for as long as possible.
“Playing in England is not the same as playing in Vila Belmiro. It is much worse, because of the climate and the style of football which he is unaccustomed to,” the president told ESPN.
“We have demonstrated that, as he has developed into a player who represents the best of Brazilian football- being audacious, skillful, effective, attacking- he is going to become a key figure in the history of Brazilian football.”
Numerous reports valued Neymar’s signature at £30 million, with the 19 year old scoring twice for Brazil in a friendly with Scotland last week.
But the Santos president believes Neymar will stay at his South American home and become the next Pele, who played almost his entire career for Santos.
"He is going to gain international recognition, and maybe get chosen as the best player in the world, playing in Brazil. This is something that hasn't happened since Pele's day, and he has a golden chance,"