Thursday, 10th January, 2013

Santos president Paulo Schiff has confirmed that the Brazilian club have rejected offers from Barcelona and Chelsea for striker Neymar and insisted they would like the talent to follow in the footsteps of Pele.

Schiff was speaking as Neymar was handed the award for the best player in South America by Uruguayan daily El Pais, and declared his hope that the 20-year-old has many more years turning out for Santos to come.

Pele played for Santos between 1956 and 1974 before winding down his career at New York Cosmos.

"In 30 years, no Brazilian club have been able to keep hold of a great player, except for ourselves with Neymar", explained Schiff.


"We refused proposals from Barcelona, Chelsea and other clubs.

"We want him to have a great career at Santos just like Pele did during his time."

Neymar has insisted he wants to stay at Santos until at least 2014, the year in which Brazil is due to host the World Cup.

The striker is keen to experience European football at some point, but Santos will hope that the time he is ready to move arrives later rather than sooner.

Still just 20 years old, Neymar has already won 27 caps for Brazil and picked up the Copa Libertadores in 2011 with Santos.

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