After growing up in tough conditions, it’s not surprising that the biggest South American soccer stars choose to spend their hard-earned salaries and endorsement earnings on luxuries they didn’t have as children. While some criticize the continent’s flashier stars, it’s what many of those same critics would do with the fame and fortune that comes with being one of the best players in the world. Case in point: Neymar.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has graduated to a lofty standing, as many consider him among the best 5 futboleros in the world. He also is heralded for his unique personal style, which brings in influences from both his homeland and the world of modern hip-hop. That made him a perfect fit for Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping” series, where host Joe La Puma takes celebrities, well, sneaker shopping. This week’s episode featured Neymar descending on Flight Club in Los Angeles, and his haul would impress even the biggest sneakerheads.
Air Jordans, Air Force 1s, Air Maxs, Yeezys…Neymar got it all. His tally at the store came out to a whopping $18,623.44, but given that he’s rumored to be the highest-paid player in the world soon–if his move to PSG goes through–that’s a drop in the bucket for Barcelona’s current #11.
Speaking with La Puma before the shopping spree, Neymar reminisced about only having one pair of shoes, a pair of Jordans, growing up. “I only had one pair and when I’d play soccer at school, they’d get increasingly old, with more holes so it was hard when I couldn’t wear them anymore because I really liked them.”
These days, Neymar can afford any shoe he wants and even has his own Jordan collaboration. “It’s a dream come true being able to have my own sneakers now. When I was told about the idea, especially with Jordan, I was extremely happy.” The Brazilian striker even said he was “shaking” from nervousness when he first met the basketball legend. It’s safe to say that some future Brazilian star is currently idolizing Neymar, and will have a similar reaction upon meeting him some years down the line.
In other Neymar shoe news, today Nike announced that the Brazil international will get his debut signature shoe, the Mercurial Vapor XI. The cleats will come in Brazil’s colors and will feature stars to commemorate the six World Cups Brazil has won. Neymar’s birthday–February 5–will also be printed on the shoes, which are set to drop Friday, July 28.
And, in the non-sneaker world, Neymar got a bit of good legal news on Wednesday: according to Mundo Deportivo, Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office closed all cases against the Brazilian striker, his father, former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, and current president Josep Maria Bartomeu for the 2013 transfer of the former Santos player. Now, all that’s left hanging over the Brazilian is whether or not he’ll actually go through with a new transfer, from Barcelona to PSG.