With every major club on the planet desperate to secure his signature, the Brazilian genuinely had the world at his feet for much of his teenage years.
May 2013 finally saw him confirm his departure from Santos after several months of intense speculation over where he would choose to go.
Barcelona proved to win the race for the most coveted player in recent history at the expense of more than €86 million – and the rest is history.
Neymar has since helped the Blaugrana add a haul of silverware to their trophy cabinet including two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies and the UEFA Champions League.
His immense contribution of 105 goals in 186 appearances has been nothing short of what was expected of him prior to joining the Catalan giants.
However, it would seem Neymar was on the verge of putting pen to paper with their single greatest rival in the same summer transfer window four years ago.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed just how close the club came to bringing the forward to the Santiago Bernabeu before pulling out in the final stages.
"Neymar passed a medical with Madrid. We tried for him to come, but we saw at one point that it was not possible and we withdrew (from the deal)," he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero, as per Goal.
Despite missing out on a player who has matured into one of the deadliest players in the world, Los Blancos can hardly complain about they've fared in recent seasons.
A failed attempt to get their hands on Neymar prompted a then-world record move for Gareth Bale – who proved to play a significant role in the La Liga title and three Champions League crowns that followed.
Madrid have been linked with similar big-money transfers this summer yet few are showing any signs of coming to fruition.
Perez hints some official activity could come later in the window while also pledging his support for the most expensive man currently on their books.
“I like the market all the way until August 31. There’s a long way to go,” he said.
“Bale’s tendons went.
"He had bad luck this season, but he has given us much satisfaction.”
As if the Welshman wasn't already under enough pressure to establish himself as the new main man at Madrid, talk of Cristiano Ronaldo potentially moving on should make sure of it.
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