When a boy from Santos’ base starts to stand out, the natural path is to be called the new Neymar. The story we are going to tell now, however, is literal: Santos signed in September the contract of 11-year-old Willamys Neymar, the first with the name of the ace to reach the club’s base since the explosion of the original.
The name is composed because Willamys was the mother’s will, but the father put pressure on Neymar. The boy was born in July 2011, shortly after Peixe lifted the Libertadores da América trophy. for what the UOL heard, the name does justice to the talent of the newcomer.
Born in Maceió (AL), Willamys Neymar started in football at the age of 4 and went through some clubs, but the opportunity took a while to arrive. In 2021, coach Tânia called the boy to train at the Colorado club. In this field, the skilled and left-handed striker was spotted by scout Luciano. He then called João Rogério Bonfim, known as Joãozinho and a former Santos base observer.
“Luciano told me that he was different, a white fly. And to improve the story, he had the name of Neymar. I left Bahia and went to Maceió to see him. And it’s impressive. I’ve seen and revealed many talents, but he is above all. The name is not by chance”, Joãozinho told UOL Esporte.
João took the family to CT Canarinhos, in Santa Rita de Cássia, Bahia. The observer bet on Willamys Neymar and gave the condition enough for the family to move. With three brothers and a father absent since pregnancy, the boy arrived malnourished and went through a period of gaining weight and muscle mass until he stood out on the field.
“My mother was afraid to leave our city, but Joãozinho showed that I had a bright future to show for it. I went to Canarinho and I just have to thank Joãozinho, Luciano and my coach Tânia for believing in me. that my dream began to be conquered”, said the boy Neymar.
With the door open at the club, Joãozinho suggested Neymar to Santos. CT Canarinho is known for helping to train important athletes and had been sought after by Fluminense, Grêmio and Internacional, but the objective was to put Willamys in Peixe. And he got it right.
Santos did not take long to approve Neymar, but the monthly allowance of R$200 + benefits was not enough for the family to come. Joãozinho then asked Helder de Oliveira, a businessman in the city, for help. And it is he who supplements the family’s income from the routine in the interior of Bahia.
CT Canarinho recently signed a partnership with Projeto Bolivia, the same project that revealed Miguelito for Santos. The work in Bahia took eight athletes to the under-13 do Peixe and helped in the formation of Ângelo and Wesley patati.
“Our CT is growing, but I couldn’t help them anymore. Helder, a businessman friend, made it possible for Neymarzinho’s family to go to Santos. And it was the best thing, because it would be bad for him to stay in the accommodation without the mother who accompanied him in all the training and games of his life. And for Santos it was great, right? He won an absurd athlete, abused, dribbler, ambidextrous. Johnny.
“Neymar’s mother could not afford it, so we signed a partnership and have continued since he came to Santos. We pay for the house where they live, the school and anything else they need. But more than anything we try to help and be gifts in raising a boy. The priority is for him to be a good man, a good professional. Whether he’s going to be an ace as he seems is another story and then we can reap some fruit. The boy only thinks about playing ball. We gave him a Playstation 5 , but he trades everything for the ball, loves football and his cell phone is unloaded”, said Helder de Oliveira, a partner at the company Denisports alongside Denis Oliveira (brother of the five-time champion Denilson) and Sérgio Leal.
Neymarzinho achieved the first goal of reaching Santos, but this story could have been interrupted because of covid-19. In 2020, the boy, aged 9, almost died.
Willamys Neymar was intubated for seven days and had two cardiac arrests. In all, there were 18 days between the Hospital da Mulher and the university hospital in Maceió. The fear was great, but the boy had no sequelae and days after discharge he was already in the dirt fields again.
“It was at the beginning of the pandemic. He started with a headache and swelling in the belly. We didn’t understand, we thought the child was okay. But thank God he was fine and it was just a big scare. I was afraid of him early on interrupt the dream of life. But it was only God’s permission for us to understand that we shouldn’t give up”, said Edilene, Neymar’s mother.
Santos avoids talking about the arrival of a new Neymar at the base. Peixe registered the boy with the São Paulo Football Federation (FPF) without fanfare and did not want to pass on information about the boy to the UOL Esporte.
Santos understands that it’s too early to give a showcase to an 11-year-old athlete. Kauan Basile, also from the under-11, is considered a gem and Peixe found problems with excessive publicity about him. Willamys’ colleague Neymar was the youngest to sign with Nike.
“I’m very happy and I just want to do my best every day, without going over anyone. I love Santos and I love finally being here”, concluded Neymarzinho.