Neymar Extends Contract with Santos


Highly-coveted Brazilian striker Neymar put a definitive end to speculation about his future on Wednesday as he extended his contract with Santos for a further two years to 2014.

The 19-year-old had already said in September at a hastily-assembled press conference that he would not be moving in the transfer window in January dashing the hopes of several European clubs, primarily Spanish giants Real Madrid.

On Wednesday he went a step further in committing himself to the club up till the 2014 World Cup which Brazil is hosting.

"Neymar will continue with us till 2014, the contract is signed," said club president Luis Alvaro Oliveira Ribeiro.

"We concluded negotiations today (Wednesday) at 1130 (1430 GMT)... This tussle has been like that of Don Quixote but has ended well, with a concrete result, and that is that Neymar will continue to the World Cup, under a signed and sealed contract.

"It is not with Real, not with Barcelona, it is with Santos," Ribeiro added gleefully before handing Neymar his team No 11 shirt emblazoned with 2014 on it.

"This shirt is testimony to everything, that I am staying till 2014," said Neymar.

"I have always said that I would not leave, that my desire was to stay.

"I am very happy, it is a decision I took with my family," added Neymar, who became a father for the first time earlier this year.

Neymar, who had a mixed year with club and country helping Santos to win the Libertadores Cup but only reached the Copa America quarterfinals, said he had been flattered by the interest shown in him by other clubs.

"I would like to thank these clubs for the interest they have expressed in me as a footballer ... But it is important to make choices in life, and my choice was Santos," said Neymar.