Neymar da Silva (age – 15, affiliation – Santos)
Although FIFA regulations prohibit players from signings professional contracts until the age of 16, this young Brazilian wonderkid is already the subject of an epic battle for his signature, with Real Madrid and Manchester United the two main combatants.
Madrid seem favourites however, having signed a pre-contract agreement recently with Neymar’s agent Wagner Riberio, who also represents one of their current Brazilian stars, Robinho. Despite only being 21 himself, Neymar has been called the “new Robinho” as he has a very similar stature and dribbling ability. Santos themselves have been quick to lockdown the prodigy by signing a deal to own his image rights up until 2015, meaning that they are due an additional £13 million if and when someone abroad snaps up their young forward.
Outside of Brazil, barely any information is available on the Santos man, but his dad Neymar Senior believes he is the real deal: “All he does is play football. In the street, in the backyard, in any place possible or impossible!” If he makes it big, remember where you heard his name first…