Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



It’s been a while since we dipped into the DUNER’S BLOG mailbag.  Recently, we’ve been asked lots of questions about Neymar.  Never heard of him?  He’s a ridiculously-talented soccer superstar who was ranked the ‘Most Marketable Athlete on Earth’ by Sports Pro Magazine last month.  Neymar does it all: films, TV, music videos and comic books. We’ll start with the most obvious question:

Why do all Brazilian soccer stars have only one name? Neil, London.  It’s true: 18 of the 28 players on the national team have only one name.  Their strikers are Gilberto and Sandro.  Their forwards are Nilmar and Neymar.  (Our personal favorite is Kaká.)  To explain: Nicknames are extremely popular in Brazil.  Even former President Luiz Inacio da Silva demanded journalists call him 'Lula'.  Some say the nickname tradition is rooted in slavery; others say it’s based on class.  We think it’s just because most Brazilian names are just plain long.  Would you rather say ‘Pele’ or 'Edison Arentes Do Nascimento'?

What brands does Neymar endorse? Victoria, Paris.  An easier question is: What brands doesn’t Neymar endorse?  We counted thirteen major sponsorships, the largest being with Nike. The terms of his 11-year agreement weren’t released but it’s rumored in the $30 million range.  He also gets $2.4 million from Panasonic and $1.2 million from Red Bull.  However, what makes Neymar so special is his global appeal.  In Germany, he sells Volkswagens.  In France, it’s Tenys Pé Baruel.  He hawks phones in Japan and does commercials for Guaraná Beer back home in Brazil.

How many goals has Neymar scored so far? Ahmed, Dubai.  Not counting his goals in youth and junior leagues, Neymar has scored 92 goals in 163 games.  These include 54 for Santos, 38 for the Brazil National team and 4 goals in 4 games for his new squad, FC Barcelona.  This means if you go to see Neymar play in a stadium, you have a 59% chance of seeing him score a goal.  NOTE: Only Lionel Messi has a higher average at 68%.

Neymar's girlfriend is not ugly.
I heard Neymar can sing and dance. Is that true? Missy, Cincinnati.  In the land of Samba, Neymar is no slouch.  Last year, a You-Tube video of him dancing in the Santos locker-room garnered over a million hits.  (The song: Ai se eu te pego! ) Last month, he began starring on the popular Brazilian soap opera Amor á Vida .  (The character: Gusttavo Lima).  He’s also in a music video with the hip-hop duo Lucas & Marcelo.  And don't forget his comic book: The Adventures of Neymarzinho. 

Does he have a hot girlfriend? James, Berkeley.  Of course he does, James!  Her name is Bruna Marquezine.  Surprise!  She is an 18-year-old swimsuit model!  Bruna has made numerous appearances in another Brazilian novella, Mulheres Apaixonadas.  According to the tabloids, during the offseason, they love to go to Santorini, Ibiza and...of course...Rio de Janiero. 

Are the comparisons to Pele exaggerated? Antonella, Buenos Aires. Yes, they are completely inaccurate at this time.  Neymar is only 21 and is just beginning his professional career.  So, it is far too early to draw any comparisions to the King.  In fact, Neymar would have to score 100+ goals in every year until 2025 to eclipse Pele’s ungodly career total of 1,281!  But stay tuned: The World Cup in Brazil is only 12 months away.  We predict some big numbers from Neymar! 

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