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Former Santos president explains how he stopped Neymar from joining Real Madrid

Neymar

That is the claim of Teixeira himself, who opened the chequebook to keep the 14-year-old future star in Brazil after he'd caught the attention of the Bernabeu giants.

The winger has been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, as well as a return to Barcelona, as he seeks a PSG exit.  

Neymar impressed during a trial in Madrid as a teenager but Teixeira revealed that his gamble of handing the youngster a professional contract very early in his career helped ward off interest from the Spanish capital.

"He was blown away by the Galácticos, but in time we were able to get hold of his father and make him an offer that earned him a million dollars,” Teixeira explained to AS.

“He quickly accepted. My whole board of directors told me I was out of my mind, but we all knew Neymar was something special.

“Keeping him was essential to Santos, and to what the side went on to achieve with him at the centre of it. It was a difficult decision that I had to make on my own, but it was what had to be done at that moment in time.”

He added: "Santos's relationship with Real Madrid was problematic at that time because of Robinho's departure [in 2005]. But in the end we kept hold of our rights [to Neymar] and relations were fine after that."

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