EXCLUSIVE: Winner of Samba Gold 2022, Neymar Jr. talks to Sambafoot about career challenges and plans for the future

The 'craque' won in the men's category of the award for the 6th time
Josué Seixas
2023-02-16 17:43:56

Samba Gold 2022 had its winners announced  and awarded the men’s, women’s and under-20’s categories.

Striker Neymar, from PSG and the Brazilian national team, was elected for the 6th time the best Brazilian playing abroad and took home the Samba Gold 2022 trophy. This is the third time in a row that the number 10 has won the award. The man from São Paulo celebrated the honor on his social networks with a post kissing the Samba Gold ball.

Sambafoot had an EXCLUSIVE chat with the star player, who recalled key moments in his career and analyzed what lies ahead. Check out the full interview below.

What is the most defining moment of your career so far?

There were many memorable moments, but I believe the most important of all was my debut in 2009, for Santos. There, because of all the expectations that already existed for my debut, everything could go wrong and my story could be completely different. Maybe we wouldn’t even here… But thank God, everything worked out, and remembering every detail of that day is such an important moment in the construction of my story.

What is the biggest dream you have and would still like to fulfill throughout your career in football?

Every game is a dream come true, I value every moment! I am very grateful for the opportunities, for the victories, defeats, because everything is a learning experience and I hope to continue doing what I love, bringing joy through my football.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally (on or off the field)?

There was no shortage of challenges in my life, but the biggest one was becoming a professional athlete. It was my dream. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a soccer player. And it is something very difficult, the “funnel” is very narrow, many people get on the way. And I also always knew that this was the way for me to offer my family and friends a better, more comfortable life.

This is my thought every day, as challenges arise and every day is a challenge, each match is a learning experience. And thinking about all the people who support me and my goals is what gives me the strength to get through anything.

Do you think PSG can win the UEFA Champions League this year? Is that the main goal of the team?

We all want to win. That’s why I wouldn’t use the verb “can”, because it gives the impression that it’s easy and it’s not like that… The biggest clubs in the world and the biggest athletes in the world are playing in the Champions League.

What I can guarantee is that we will give our all in all the competitions we are playing and we hope to win them all and win this title. I can say that there will never be a lack of commitment.

If you could give advice to young people who want to pursue a professional career in football, what would it be?

Train, dedicate yourself and always be ready because we never imagine when the opportunity may appear. The process is very hard, the path is difficult, but be disciplined, hardworking, committed and never give up on your dreams.

What are your goals for this year, personally and professionally?

BE HAPPY!!!! Winning everything with PSG!!

Neymar thanks Sambafoot for the Samba Gold award

The PSG star also sent a message to the Sambafoot team and the public that elected him in yet another edition of Samba Gold. The player competed with 19 other Brazilian athletes who operate outside the country, and took home the 2022 trophy after receiving the most votes. See the video:

Neymar Jr’s numbers in 2022

– 43 games;
– 31 wins;
– 8 draws;
– 4 defeats;
– 32 goals;
– 20 assists;
– 52 direct participations in goals;
– 1.2 participation in goals per game.

Check out the partials of the Men’s Samba Gold 2022

1 – Neymar: 40.46%

2 – Lucas Paquetá: 14.55%

3 – Bruno Guimarães: 13.31%

4 – Vinicius Junior: 10.10%

5 – Antony: 6.82%

About Samba Gold 2022

In addition to Neymar, who won the men’s category, Debinha and Endrick were also awarded at the 2022 Samba Gold Trophy.