One of Brazil’s most popular public figures, soccer star Neymar is known for his incredible feats of athleticism as well as his over-the-top antics on the pitch. Among car aficionados, however, the flashy forward is known for something else: his multimillion-dollar fleet of cars, which includes an extremely rare Maserati MC12. Here’s a closer look at the legend and his love of luxury cars.
Neymar was born on February 5, 1992 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His father was a professional soccer player, and he became involved in the sport at an early age starting with street games and futsal. At the age of seven, Neymar joined the Portuguesa Santista youth club, and just a few years later was already being heralded as one of the country’s most promising young soccer players.
When Neymar was 11, he joined Santos FC’s youth program, and garnered even more attention throughout Europe. He was offered a spot with Real Madrid C.F. when he was 14, but accepted a large bonus to stay with Santos. The club’s investment was more than worth it: Following his senior debut in 2009, Neymar won the league’s coveted Best Young Player award.
The following years were huge ones for the rising soccer star. For his role in helping Santos win both the league and Copa do Brasil championships, he received three consecutive scoring titles and four consecutive Player of the Year honors. In 2011 he was honored with the FIFA Puskas award for the best goal of the year, while 2012 saw the celebration of his 100th professional goal — a feat made even more impressive by the fact that it happened on his 20th birthday. In addition to his fancy footwork, Neymar’s Mohawk haircut also made him a favorite with younger fans.
In 2012, Neymar transferred to Europe’s renowned FC Barcelona club, where he more than lived up to his reputation while helping the club claim several titles over the next few years. He also enjoyed a major moment at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he led Brazil to its first-ever men’s soccer gold medal. The following year, Neymar transferred yet again — this time to Paris Saint-Germain. While his time with the French club was injury-plagued, he still helped the team win a Ligue 1 title.
While Neymar’s career has been impressive, it’s not been without its share of setbacks. In addition to injuries, he’s faced criticism for his theatrics on the field. Most recently, he received a three-match ban from the French soccer federation for taking a swipe at a fan who was insulting him following a loss to Rennes in the Coupe de France final in the spring of 2019.
Still, Neymar started 2019 off in signature style with a goal-of-the-year contender that prompted beIN SPORTS USA to enthusiastically tweet, “NEYMAR. IS. BACK.” Said Neymar of being booed by home fans during the match, “I knew this would probably be tough. If they want to yell at me, they are free to. They should not focus on me, though. The most important thing is the team. From now on, I will be playing every home match as if it is away.”
Soccer stars are known for their love of finer things, and Neymar is no exception. Luckily, his net worth of $185 million more than supports his expensive tastes.
Neymar boasts a staggeringly extensive fleet of vehicles, which includes everything from a Cessna 680 private jet to a Ferrari 458 Italia. Perhaps the crown jewel in his car collection? An ultra-rare Maserati MC12. Only 50 of this two-seater sports car were made during its two-year production run with each limited production Maserati MC12 being pre-sold for approximately $1.5 million. (Maserati also put out a track-only edition of the MC12. Dubbed the Maserati MC12 Corsa, only a dozen were ever made.)
Maserati’s take on the Ferrari Enzo supercar, the MC12 — Maserati’s sole modern supercar — is equipped with a 6.0-liter, 620-horsepower V12 motor and can go from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds. In declaring it “another race-based megacar you won’t be driving soon,” Car and Driver hailed its engine’s “glorious exhaust twang and harmonic crescendo.”
Raved Automobile a year after the M12’s debut, meanwhile, “The MC12 was created to achieve three goals, one for each prong of the trident displayed so prominently on the car’s grille. First, it reconnects with the marque’s storied competition heritage and racing cars such as the Birdcage. Second, it signals the company’s renewed determination to build serious sports cars as well as grand-touring machines such as the Coupe and the Quattroporte. Third, and most important, it sends the message that Maserati isn’t just Ferrari Lite.”
According to critics, as well as the privileged few who’ve had the pleasure of driving the MC12, it delivered on these goals, and then some. “With the MC12, at least, Maserati gets the last laugh. Here’s a car that’s more exclusive, more expensive, and arguably more attractive than even the Enzo. Ferrari owners, eat your conceited little hearts out,” Automobile continued.
Still, despite Neymar’s possession of one of the world’s most elite and expensive supercars, the legend-in-the-making insists that his life is not about his material possessions. “I was never motivated by money. I think above all else about the happiness of my family, regardless of money,” he recently said.