Neymar has no regrets about knocking back Chelsea

07 December 2010 12:51
Santos wonderkid Neymar insists he was right to turn down Chelsea and is encouraging other Brazilian prospects to follow his example.

Sources close to the 18-year-old made it clear that a move to Stamford Bridge was on hold rather than permanently off the agenda when he rejected Chelsea to sign a new contract with Santos in August.

But the skillful forward looks no closer to a move to England as he talked up his growth from a virtual unknown 12 months ago to the household name he is today.

Home comforts: Neymar is glad he stayed in his native Brazil with Santos

'Saying no to a move to Europe and choosing to stay at Santos was a good experience for me,' said Neymar. 'It was tough making that decision, but I don't regret it.

'I think that my family and I made the right choice and I'm very happy to have done so.

'Maybe young players will follow that example and start putting more weight in staying at a Brazilian club for a bit longer.'

Santos want to keep their often troublesome No 11 for an assault on the Copa Libertadores - South America's biggest club competition - in 2011.

They have recently signed former Manchester City midfielder Elano from Galatasaray, hope to snatch midfielder Lucas from Liverpool and haven't ruled out an overly ambitious bid to once again re-sign Robinho, who is now settled at AC Milan.

While Chelsea had a £25million bid knocked back in the summer, Neymar's release clause is now £37m and his reputation has been further enhanced by picking up the striker of the year award for Brazil's top division on Monday night.

'I've had a lot to celebrate this year,' he said. 'I've come on from being the Neymar I was last year, by turning promise and potential into reality.

'I think I've come on in every area: my style of play, my strength. I experienced a number of situations this year that have really helped, not just on the pitch but off it too.' 

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Source: Daily_Mail