Neymar could be on his way back to Santos in 2025, according to Globoesporte. The Brazilian already requested that the team reserve the #11 jersey for his return. And now the club is working closely with Neymar's father to seal the deal.
Last week, Santos suffered relegation from the Brazilian top flight for the first time in 111 years. They now move down to Serie B. A remorseful Neymar posted on Instagram, “Santos always Santos,” in the wake of the club's downturn.
Will Neymar make a triumphant return to Santos in 2025?
Who else better than to bring Santos back into the first division? The Brazilian forward started his professional career at Santos in 2009 and played for four years before signing up for Catalan giant Barcelona. He, Lionel Messi, and Luis Suarez, dubbed “MSN,” won the treble during Neymar's second season with Barcelona.
In the summer of 2017, Neymar broke the record for the largest transfer with a €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain. In 2023, he left Paris behind to sign for Saudi Pro League's Al Hilal for $98 million. Recent injuries at the international level put a dent in Neymar's inaugural season as he recovers from extensive ACL surgery.
Yet, at the end of his Middle East adventure in two seasons, the Brazilian looks to return to his roots at Santos with the #11 kit. Santos retired their famous number 10 for Pele earlier this month.
“Yesterday I received his call. He said: ‘President, you've already retired at 10 until you return to the first division, so retire at 11 until I return.' I'm already happy (laughs), I'm already hopeful,” club president Marcelo Teixeira told TV Santa Cecília on Neymar's potential homecoming.
Continued Teixeira: “I'm going to put it in our group, so that we can study keeping 11 as well… We hope Neymar returns in the future. Let's retire the 10 momentarily. And at 11 we will wait until our star returns.”
But first, Neymar has a lot of work on his hands. The Copa America returns next summer and then Neymar must see out his contract at Al Nassr. Until then, the Santistas need to find a way to return the club to South American glory. Only then can Neymar take them back to the top of Brazil's Serie A.