7 to 1. It’s a score that has scarred an entire country. When Germany obliterated the host country Brazil in the 2014 World Cup finals, the soccer-crazed country was shaken to its core.
Brazil’s star player, Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., was injured and did not play in that epically lopsided game, and he carried the weight of the county on his shoulders going into the 2016 Rio Olympics. When most athletes seek inspiration it’s typically from another star in their sport, or a family member, or their religion, but few have the chance to gain first-hand insights from one of the greatest athletes and winners of all time…Michael Jordan.
Just a few weeks prior to traveling to Rio and scoring the deciding penalty kick that gave Brazil it’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal (hard to believe, right?), Neymar made a quick trip to NYC for a special announcement and rendezvous with His Airness. We were hired by Nike and Jordan Brand to follow him around for a couple days to document his trip. It started with a tour of Niketown in Midtown Manhattan with NY Giants star Victor Cruz. After seemingly buying one of each shoe at Niketown, it was a quick car ride to the east side where Neymar and his crew jumped aboard a couple of helicopters, took in some aerial views of Manhattan and flew out to Citi Field. Neymar got the royal treatment at the stadium. He hit some balls in the batting cage, chilled with Mets Captain David Wright in the locker room and showed off his juggling skills on the field prior to the game. All the while sporting a custom made Mets jersey.
The next day Neymar got to meet his childhood idol, MJ, and participate in a photo shoot and shoot around on the basketball court. Neymar then introduced his new Jordan Brand shoe, the first ever Jordan Brand soccer boot, to crazed fans and the New York media. Not a bad couple of days, even for one of the hottest football players on the planet right now.