Neymar admits to having grown up wanting to be like Manchester United legend David Beckham, with the Brazilian modelling his game on the ex-England captain.

Neymar has been revealed as the anonymous donor who gave 5 million Brazilian real (£775,000/$950,000) to charity to fight coronavirus.

The Paris Saint-Germain star split the donation between UNICEF and a benefit fund in his home nation of Brazil to aid in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Neymar had made the generous gesture without putting his name to it, however, Brazilian television channel SBT revealed that the national team striker had made the donation.

The revelation was made on SBT programme Fofocolizando, which said: “He preferred not to publicly disclose the donation, so we’re telling everyone, because we like to talk when a person does something nice.

“We have this information, we really think it’s a very cool, very positive attitude, and one that serves as an incentive for other sportsmen, for other personalities.”

It comes as teams and players around the world make gestures and donations in the battle against coronavirus, including forgoing large parts of their salaries to either donate to charity or ensure non-playing members of club staff are not laid off, with football postponed around the world to try and stop the virus spreading.


On Thursday, Atletico Madrid players agreed to take a 70 per cent pay cut in order to support the wages of other employees, following the example set by Neymar’s former club Barcelona .

In Germany, Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich says players have “a responsibility” to help , and with team-mate Leon Goretzka has set up a fund called ‘ We Kick Corona ‘, which has already raised more than €3.7m.

In England, pressure has been put on footballers to make similar gestures, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying players need to “do their bit”, although this has drawn criticism from figures in the game including Gary Lineker and Gary Neville .

Lineker’s former side Tottenham have been criticised for cutting the salaries of 550 non-playing staff members , despite owner Joe Lewis having a reported net worth of over £4.3 billion ($5.3bn).

However, other players have been praised for their charitable efforts, such as Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford who has been helping provide free meals for schoolchildren in the city.

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