Words: Chloe Watts
In one of the biggest sporting moves of 2020, German athletic brand PUMA has signed Neymar Jr. in a deal that was so secret, ESPN reports, only four PUMA executives knew about it. The deal sees the soccer superstar leaving his 15-year, $163 million USD contract with Nike two years early and joining a portfolio of high-profile athletes including Usain Bolt, Rickie Fowler, Marta and Sergio Aguero.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward took to Twitter to share the news, posting a video with a simple caption “The KING is back”, revealing he will be donning the KING football boots. A statement he later provided to Twitter explained his motives for the shift.
“It’s not always all 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.”
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) September 12, 2020
Neymar Jr. has revealed that growing up, he watched videos of football legends Pelé, Cruyff, Eusebio and Maradona and how they each played in PUMA and created magic in The KING. He explained “I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch. I want to help bring back moments from each of their football histories and the magic they gave us in their classic leather boots – and through boots like those, leave behind my own legacy.”
Puma CEO, Bjøn Gulden also spoke about the news, saying, “Neymar Jr. joining our PUMA family is fantastic. He is one of the best players in the world and extremely influential for the global football and youth culture. We are very excited and look forward to working with him both on and off the pitch”.
The first pieces of Neymar Jr.’s PUMA collection is available for pre-order on the PUMA website.