Puma have confirmed the signing of Neymar, who parted ways with Nike just two weeks ago.
The 28-year-old striker decided to end his £78.6million partnership with Nike after 15 years and will now wear Puma’s legendary ‘Puma King football boots’ next season.
Neymar will also work as a brand ambassador off-pitch, wearing Puma’s most important lifestyle, training, and sport-inspired footwear, as well as apparel products.
The news of the partnership was announced on social media in a message entitled ‘The KING is Back’.
Speaking on his decision to leave Nike and join Puma, Neymar said: ‘I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, Cruyff, Matthaus, Eusebio and Maradona.’
‘These were the KING’s of the pitch, the KING’s of my sport. I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch. They each played in PUMA, and each of them created their magic in The KING.’
‘Every time I lace my boots, my KING boots, I will do anything to achieve all of my dreams to honour my name and that of all those great ones who wore the KING before me. This will be my PUMA history. The KING is back!’
The news will come as a blow to Nike, who have sponsored the Brazilian since he was 13 years old – long before he became a professional. During his rise to stardom at Santos, they even supplied sports equipment for the club.
Neymar’s switch of allegiances could be detrimental to the American company, who had reportedly signed the striker until 2022 until he terminated his contract.
With the deal ending early Nike will lose one of their biggest star and his global appeal, while Puma will gain a new face to their brand.
Bjorn Gulden, the CEO of PUMA, shared his delighted to have Neymar onboard, saying: ‘Neymar Jr. joining our PUMA Family is fantastic.
‘He is one of the best players in the world and extremely influential for the global football and youth culture. We are very excited and look forward to working with him both on and off the pitch.’
Puma has had a portfolio of high profile names, including Antoine Griezmann, Pele and Diego Maradona.
The brand has also had partnerships with Manchester City and AC Milan but has lacked a global ambassador after the likes of Usain Bolt retired.
Neymar will now become the face of the brand as they look to capitalise on the forward’s new deal.
Neymar has won several trophies in Brazil, Spain and France, as well as the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.
He also won the Olympic Gold Medal with the Brazilian National Team in 2016 and scored 61 goals in 101 matches in his international career.
Being the third highest goal scorer for his country, along with his other achievements, Neymar is a great addition to the Puma team.
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