2012 Olympics | July 27 - August 12
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Neymar Neymar

Neymar NeymarSport: Soccer

Nation: Brazil

DOB: February 5, 1992

Career Highlights: Already considered one of the best players in the world, the Olympics may serve as an international coming-out party for Neymar as Brazil seeks its first gold medal. The reigning South American Footballer of the Year, he boasts tremendous speed and dazzling balance and skill on the ball that has drawn comparisons to Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi, as well as Brazil legends Pele and Garrincha. His Santos team came up short against Messi's Barcelona in a 4-0 loss in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup final, but through no fault of his own: Neymar was named the tournament's third-best player and was awarded the Bronze Ball. He has been a transfer target of many major clubs in Europe, but has opted to stay with Santos in his native country, where he enjoys rock-star status. Despite his youth, he already has 16 appearances for Brazil’s national team, scoring eight goals. He made his debut at 18 and scored in a 2-0 friendly win over the United States. Neymar's only problem may be a lack of discipline, as he’s been shown the red card three times in his club career.

Olympic History: None

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