Samba star Neymar

Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT) March 2, 2012
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Neymar made his debut for the Brazil national team in August 2010 against the U.S. in New Jersey. The 18-year-old marked his first match for the five-time world champions with a goal in Brazil's 2-0 win. Getty Images
Neymar played a crucial role in Santos' Copa Libertadores triumph in 2011. After a goalless first leg against Uruguayan side Penarol, Neymar scored and was named man of the match in Santos' 2-1 second-leg win. It was the first time Santos had been crowned South American champions since the legendary Pele was playing for the team during the 1960s. Getty Images
Neymar has drawn comparisons with Pele, who also came through the Santos youth academy and is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. Pele won two Copa Libertadores with Santos and the World Cup with Brazil on three occasions. Getty Images
Neymar is the latest in a long line of exciting Brazilian talent. Here he is pictured next to Ronaldinho, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002 and the European Champions League with Barcelona in 2006. He is now back in Brazil with Flamengo. Getty Images
The carnival in Rio de Janeiro is world-famous festival which is held each year before the Christian period of Lent. The carnival is characterized by flamboyant dancing and extravagant floats, and Neymar has been spotted partying in recent times. Getty Images
Like Neymar, Ronaldinho also enjoys letting loose during the carnival. He is pictured here dancing with a samba school in Rio during the 2011 carnival. Getty Images