During a recent interview with L’Equipe, one of Neymar’s former agents revealed how the Brazilian star rejected Real Madrid.
Neymar’s story with Real Madrid began when the Brazilian star was only 13 years old, he actually traveled to the city for a massive tryout. Agent Wagner Ribeiro worked with Neymar since he was a kid and they remain good friends to this day. He was around during the first time Florentino Perez approached his father to sign him for Real Madrid. Since then, the Spanish giant’s president attempted to sign Neymar three times. Once when he was a kid. The second time happened when he left Santos. And the third time when he was two years into his PSG contract. But every single time, Neymar had the luxury to reject Los Blancos.
Ribeiro recalled those times during an interview on L’Equipe: “He was 13 and he was a star already. Neymar came to Madrid twenty days with me and his father. Real Madrid wanted him and they were willing to pay him well. But Santos’ president called me to offer me €840.000 and €10.000 monthly. Back then, Neymar won 700 reals. His father thought staying in Brazil was better. He always had a great time on the pitch, but he cried when he wasn’t playing. I remember he took my phone often to call his mother. He never wanted to remain away from her and his sister.”
Neymar always rejected Florentino.
The second and third time Neymar rejected Real Madrid was when he was already an adult. It happened in 2013 and 2019: “Florentino thought he had Neymar. He even accepted an offer I presented to him. The president was willing to pay Santos €40 million and do everything we asked. His father asked for more time because Neymar preferred to play for Barcelona. Real Madrid insisted when they sent three board members accompanied by lawyers. They were there for 20 days and told me: ‘Come on! We can sign the contracts tomorrow!’
“But Neymar didn’t want to play in Madrid, he wanted Barça. Messi and Pique called him. I wanted him to go to Real Madrid. Florentino and I had a good relationship. Sandro Rossell, however, didn’t want me to be part of the negotiations with Barcelona. He tossed me aside and didn’t pay me a dime of Neymar’s transfer to the club. They worked with Andre Cury, who was close to Neymar’s father. They tricked me. I didn’t get anything with this transfer. In 2019, he was also close to playing for Real Madrid. They were willing to pay PSG €300 million for his transfer. But Nasser refused to sell him: ‘Not even for a billion, he is not leaving!’, he told me.”