The announcement from PUMA and Neymar Jr. came as a shock yesterday, bringing an end to the fifteen-year partnership between Neymar and American sportswear brand Nike.
PUMA is moving up in the world once again in 2020. The German sportswear brand has been on fire in the past several years, debuting dozens of new products focused on lifestyle and performance through the revived Hoops division, and bolstered by the support of the numerous new athlete and celebrity endorsees, a list that added one of its biggest names yet this week. After a tremendous fifteen years working with Nike, Neymar de Silva Santos Jr. has quietly signed a new deal with PUMA. The superstar footballer broke the news with a personal statement released in tandem with PUMA, detailing his intentions to step into the legacy of some of the worlds most famous players before him, writing “I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pelé, Cruyff, Matthäus, Eusébio, and Maradona. These were the KINGs of the pitch, the KINGs of my sport. I wish to bring back the legacy that those athletes created on the pitch. They each played in PUMA, and each of them created their magic in The KING.”
The message is clear. Neymar has come to claim his spot as the king of football, and he’s enlisted PUMA to help tell the story through an already iconic piece of footwear. The PUMA King’s legend began at the World Cup in 1996, when Eusébio da Silva Ferreira scored 9 goals in a match while wearing PUMA boots. Soon, the two were hard at work, creating a custom silhouette for Eusébio that provided better ball control than anything on the market. The King was born and used by subsequent generations of the world’s greatest athletes, each lending their own ideas to the brand to further improvements on the classic design. The most recent adaptation brought the King into the world of lifestyle footwear, through a signature adaptation from Rhude’s Rhuigi Villanueva.
While it will be some time before we see official Neymar Jr. x PUMA signature footwear or special-edition releases, the brand has already put up a pre-order for several items featuring the new Neymar Collection logo. Featuring two t-shirts and a hat, the collection will likely grow exponentially as the brand grows. Check out some of Neymar’s PUMA imagery below, and stay tuned to JustFreshKicks for more news regarding the new partnership.