In a mostly uneventful Copa América Centenario group match between Ecuador and Brazil, Neymar sitting in the crowd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena became one of the game’s standout moments. The Barcelona forward arrived in the United States last week to promote his Nike NJR x Jordan Hypervenom cleat, where he made lots of celebrity BFFs. Though seeing Neymar out on the field alongside his Brazilian teammates might have made for a more exciting game, he made quite the entrance with his entourage, composed of the unlikely trio of Justin Bieber, Jamie Foxx, and Lewis Hamilton.
While seeing the Biebs and Neymar buddied up had Fox News asking if the two are now best friends, their friendship is more than a few months in the making – at least publicly. During summer 2014, they both headed to Ibiza to party on yachts, but it’s not clear if their paths crossed back then. If they somehow managed to be at the same place at the same time, then neither posted about it on their Instagram accounts. They did both caption their Instagram posts “Ibiza” within two days of one another, so at the very least they had some sort of connection even back then.
After a deep internet search, we’ve got a better idea of how Bieber and Neymar’s bromance began. Here’s a look back at the moments that brought them together:
"Beauty and the Beat"
Last year, Neymar juggled a ball while listening to Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and the Beat.”
On February 1, Neymar’s son, Davi Lucca, wore a hoodie that pictured Bieber as David Bowie circa 1973’s Aladdin Sane cover art. Lucca’s mom, Carol Dantas, posted the image onto her Instagram account, so this also might not be the beginning of their friendship.
Birthday Wishes, Part 1
But maybe it actually reached Bieber, because four days later, he tweeted at Neymar to wish him a happy 24th birthday.
Birthday Wishes, Part 2
Almost a month later, on March 1, Neymar didn’t forget about the Biebs on his 22nd birthday.
A Nod to Neymar
In May, the Biebs hit up a sushi spot for lunch, where he wore a Brazilian shirt. The shirt has a No. 11 stitched onto the back, which is a number Neymar has worn in the past for Brazil.
Together At Last
While we don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes since their birthday tweet exchange, by the time Neymar visited the U.S., Bieber invited him to his place to play some soccer. In the brief clip, they juggle a fútbol.
On June 4, the two attended the Copa América game together, where a camera caught them taking a selfie.