Neymar joins Puma, ending 15-year relationship with Nike

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Neymar revealed Saturday that he would be joining Puma, bringing an end to his relationship with Nike that last 15 years. The announcement was made on the Puma website as well as on social media with the tagline “The king is back!”

ESPN reports that only four executives knew about the deal prior to the announcement, and it was a surprise to the remaining population of the company when it came out.

Neymar published a long scribe of his decision to join Puma after a 15-year partnership with Nike. He called this a “unique experience, a new challenge” and said in making this move, he was actively comparing himself to some of the greatest to ever play the sport such as Pele, Johan Cruyff, Lothar Matthäus, Eusébio and Diego Maradona in running with this particular campaign.

“These were the kings of the pitch, the kings of my sport. And they had something in common — a love of the game, a drive to be the best version of themselves and a spirit that unites all” he wrote for the social media post. “It’s not always about being the best or the greatest but instead, to inspire future generations. That is exactly what I have dreamt of for myself, to give all of me to football because football has given me everything I have. I want to do it my way, using my gift.”

Figures for the deal to Puma are still not known. All that’s known is the context for past endorsements. His most recent deal with Nike was for 11 years and worth $105 million.

One of the biggest soccer stars in the world, Neymar will serve as a prominent ambassador for this sports apparel brand. This is not to say that he has the most sterling reputation. On the pitch, he’s been criticized for embellishing fouls and outright flopping in matches. Off the pitch, things become a bit more serious as he’s faced accusations of tax fraud and was hit with a rape allegation in 2019.

The Brazilian winger is back at training with Paris Saint-Germain after missing their opener against Lens because he tested positive for coronavirus. PSG were defeated 1-0.

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