Brazil Captain Neymar has revealed that NBA legend and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan is the real inspiration behind his success as a footballer today.
The 24-year-old has already won 14 trophies with both Barcelona and Santos and he is tipped to break the monopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Lionel Messi for the World’s Best Player Award.
However, he has credited six-time NBA champion and five-time league MVP Jordan for helping attain his current level in his career.
“Michael Jordan set the standard for greatness. He’s an incredible competitor and a champion,” Neymar said after becoming the first footballer to collaborate with the Jordan Brand on a signature boot, which features the iconic basketballer’s number 23 on the outside, with the classic ‘Jumpman’ logo prominent on the back and bottom.
“Jordan inspired me in the pursuit of excellence for all he did in his career. Train strong, always wanted to be the best. That made me think and try to put that in my life and in my football to improve.
“I’ve always admired him, so to collaborate with him and have his icon on my boots means a great deal to me.”
Neymar has helped Barcelona win two La Liga titles, Copa del Rey and Champions League since he joined the club.