VIDEO: Brazlil's Neymar becomes comic book character
Friday 19 Apr 2013 12:18 p.m.
Brazilian national soccer team star Neymar was on hand for the launch of his own comic book.
The 68-page comic 'Neymar Jr.' is scheduled to be released monthly.
Neymar joins the ranks of Pelé and Ronaldinho in an elite group of soccer stars to have been drawn by Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa. The strip follows in the tradition of comics such as Roy of the Rovers, a British comic about the life of a fictional footballer named Roy Race.
Neymar described what an honour it was to be canonized by the colourful drawings of Sousa, who's iconic "Monica's Gang" just celebrated its fiftieth year.
"Everybody knows about the importance of stories in (Mauricio de Sousa's) comics since Cebolinha, Monica, and other characters. I am getting to be a part of the group of soccer stars, together with Ronaldinho and Pelé. I really want to give thanks to Mauricio for helping me to realize one more dream."
Neymar and his image are currently not just the face of Brazilian football, they are also lucrative commodities with potential outside of Brazil, should the star striker choose to entertain offers to leave local club Santos FC.
Speculation is rife over whether a heavily-pocketed European club could lure the highest paid Brazilian player away from his native country continue ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil.
Neymar, however, once again affirmed his intention to stay put when the question was posed.
"I am not going to change what I have said because it's the truth. I am happy here in Santos and I intend to stay here. It is the only team I have a contract with and I intend to honour it until the end."
The 21-year-old's foray into comics comes as no surprise as the marketing darling can already be seen on billboards, TV, magazine, and newspaper ads, plus an appearance on the cover of Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer video game released last year.