Neymar was hardly a secret when the World Cup began, but his tournament debut was quite spectacular, especially given that it took place front of his home fans in Brazil. The young forward notched two goals in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup and helped Brazil start off with a 3-1 win over Croatia. He later added two more goals for Brazil against Cameroon. Despite limited options, Neymar cards and memorabilia were already popular and his World Cup performance has certainly increased the demand from collectors.
Still in his early-20s, the sky is the limit for Neymar and many feel he will be the next global superstar. Born Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, Neymar follows the Brazilian tradition of going by just his first name. His professional career began in 2009 with Santos FC, the same place that Pelé spent the bulk of his career. After several seasons playing for Santos, Neymar made the move to soccer titan, Barcelona, in 2013.
His international career with the Brazilian National Team began in 2010, but Neymar was overlooked for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as he was only 18 at the time. He participated in both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 Confederations Cup, showing considerable skill and scoring ability. Now approaching his prime years, Neymar is being counted on to lead the home squad to their first World Cup title since 2002. Normally number eleven in club play, Neymar joined a very exclusive group of Brazilian footballers to don the number ten jersey in the World Cup for Brazil.
There are several popular Neymar cards available to collectors, but the supply is very limited and mostly consists of base and sticker cards. Things are further complicated because some are regional releases from Brazil or Japan, while others come from his Barcelona affiliation. Regardless, it is safe to assume that supply will grow as he climbs the soccer hierarchy, and so will this list.
The following list offers collectors from all budgets a look at some appealing Neymar cards.
Top Neymar Cards
The earliest known card for Neymar comes from a Brazilian release during the beginning of his professional career with Santos FC. The first card (#154) includes a posed headshot, while the second (#155) shows Neymar in action. Both are not that common and they are generally recognized as the rookie cards for Neymar.
Another early card that claims rookie status, this Neymar card is a Panini release from Japan. World Club Champion Football (WCCF) is a card game and also an arcade game from Sega. Despite being mostly written in Japanese, one amusing takeaway is the skill section, which lists Neymar as a "Roaming Dangerman."
Sure it is is simple and cheap. But this sticker is a great and inexpensive way to obtain a card that documents Neymar's first World Cup. The Panini World Cup stickers have a devoted following and Neymar's card will remain a popular collectible. Looking ahead, Neymar could one day be listed among the greatest modern players. If that occurs, the 2014 World Cup will be remembered as his breakout moment and this card will take on added significance.
Despite the immense popularity of the World Cup Stickers, 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup marks the first time that Panini has added a mid-level product to their World Cup lineup. One immediate takeaway is the various parallels. These colorful card options are another way to track down a large amount of Neymar cards. The popular numbered parallels provide a chase that escalates with each increasingly rare option.
Last, but certainly not least, 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup also offers the first major release of certified pack-pulled autographs for Neymar. Prices are currently hovering around the $300 mark, but that will push much higher if he continues to tally goals in the World Cup. There is also a rare Prizm parallel, numbered to 25. One of these sold in late-May of 2014 for $1,200.