Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, commonly known as Neymar Jr or simply Neymar, is one of the most famous and talented football players in the world today.
The Brazilian forward is renowned for his skills on the pitch and has made a name for himself playing for top clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Outside of football, Neymar’s personal life and background have also drawn much interest from fans and the media alike.
One aspect many are curious about is Neymar’s religion and faith. Footballers often point to God after scoring a goal or thank God for their successes. So what religion does the superstar Brazilian ascribe to?
What Is Neymar’s Religious Background?
Neymar was born in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil to Neymar Santos Sr. and Nadine da Silva. The Neymar family is Roman Catholic, the predominant religion in Brazil.
Neymar was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church as an infant, a common tradition for many Brazilian families. He wears a tattoo of Jesus Christ on his arm, demonstrating his Catholic faith. Neymar makes the sign of the cross before games and after scoring goals.
So while Neymar himself has not explicitly stated his religion publicly, his actions indicate he was raised in and continues to practice Roman Catholicism.
Does Neymar Regularly Attend Church Services?
With his busy training and match schedule, it seems unlikely that Neymar is able to attend mass regularly. However, he does make it a point to visit church when his schedule allows for it.
For example, in 2016 Neymar visited the Santuário Nacional de Nossa Senhora Aparecida in Aparecida, Brazil while on break from his club team. The basilica is the second largest Catholic place of worship in the world. Neymar stated he finds “peace and tranquility” when visiting such religious spaces.
Neymar also shared images on social media of himself attending mass in Barcelona while he played for the club. And in 2017, he posted photos of himself at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia after being in the country for a friendly match.
So while football takes up much of his time, Neymar ensures he makes time for church services during his holidays or on tour when the opportunity presents itself.
Has Neymar Ever Spoken Publicly About His Faith?
Despite keeping relatively private about his personal life, Neymar has mentioned his Catholic faith a few times in interviews when asked about it directly.
In one interview just prior to the 2014 World Cup on Brazilian TV, Neymar stated, “Life only makes sense when our highest ideal is to serve Christ!”
He was asked if he regularly attends church, to which he responded, “Yes, I go whenever possible, whenever I have the opportunity. I have my faith, I’m very blessed to be Catholic.”
In another interview with Spanish newspaper Marca in 2016, Neymar confirmed he is a practicing Catholic who believes in God. He stated, “I grew up in a family with a lot of faith in God…We go to church whenever we can.”
Based on these public statements, Neymar openly acknowledges and is comfortable discussing his devotion to the Roman Catholic faith.
Does Neymar’s Faith Influence His Careers in Football and Business?
While Neymar keeps his religious views mostly private, there are a few ways his Catholic faith seems to influence his public life in football and business:
- Making the sign of the cross: He routinely makes the sign of the cross before football matches and after goals. This shows his belief that God impacts outcomes.
- Getting tattoos of religious figures: Neymar has multiple tattoos representing his Catholic faith, including Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
- Supporting charity work: Neymar has supported several Catholic church charities in Brazil through donations and volunteering.
- Speaking about moral values: In interviews, he has credited his faith and upbringing for shaping his perspective on family, charity, and living ethically.
So while Neymar does not outwardly wear his faith on his sleeve, it does appear his Catholic background has influenced his values and behaviors to some degree.
What Are Some Other Famous Footballers’ Religious Beliefs?
Neymar is far from the only famous footballer who adheres to a religious faith. Here are some other top players over the years who have been openly religious:
- Lionel Messi: Roman Catholic faith, makes cross gesture before games
- Cristiano Ronaldo: Describes himself as Catholic, donates to church charities
- Mesut Özil: Practicing Muslim, prays before games, goes on pilgrimage
- Mohamed Salah: Practicing Muslim, prostrates after scoring goals
- Kaká: Devout evangelical Christian, avoids play and travel on Sundays
- Javier Hernandez: Roman Catholic, prayers after scoring for Mexico
- Tim Howard: Devout Christian, extensive bible verse tattoos
Most players likely keep their faith private. But the religious diversity among top footballers demonstrates the important role it plays in the lives of some athletes.
In summary, football superstar Neymar Jr was raised as a Roman Catholic and appears to continue practicing his faith as an adult. While he keeps his religious views largely out of the spotlight, Neymar has made public references to his Catholic beliefs in interviews and displays his devotion through actions like tattoo tributes, crossing himself on the pitch, and attending church services when possible.
His faith seems to have influenced his perspective and behaviors, even as he has become one of the most famous athletes in the world. Neymar’s story reflects the larger relationship between sports and religion, where faith provides guidance and purpose for many top athletes as they navigate their careers in the public eye.
Frequently Asked Questions related to Neymar Jr’s religion:
What religion is Neymar Jr?
Neymar Jr is Roman Catholic. He was raised Catholic by his family in Brazil and appears to continue practicing his Catholic faith as an adult.
Does Neymar make the cross before games?
Yes, Neymar frequently makes the sign of the cross moments before the start of football matches he plays in. This demonstrates his Catholic beliefs.
Has Neymar ever talked about his religion?
In a few interviews over the years, Neymar has directly acknowledged and discussed his devotion to the Catholic faith. He has stated he believes in God, attends church when possible, and was raised in a spiritual family.
Is Neymar religious?
Yes, Neymar is a religious person. Based on his public statements and actions like cross gestures and religious tattoos, he seems to be a practicing and devout Roman Catholic Christian.
What church does Neymar go to?
Neymar attends Catholic mass whenever his schedule allows. He has visited major Catholic churches in Brazil, Spain, and Australia on occasions when touring or on holiday from his football schedule.
Is Neymar Jr Muslim?
No, Neymar Jr is not Muslim. He has always identified himself as a Roman Catholic, the predominant faith he was raised in by his family in Brazil.
Does Neymar pray before games?
While not confirmed, it is highly likely Neymar offers personal prayers before his games as many religious athletes do. He does often make the sign of the cross on the pitch just before kick-off.
What religious tattoos does Neymar have?
Neymar has several religious tattoos representing Catholicism, including a large image of Jesus Christ on his upper arm as well as a tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his forearm.
Is Neymar Catholic or Christian?
Neymar is Catholic. Roman Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity, so while Neymar is specifically Catholic, it also means he is a Christian.