As Superfly sensation Neymar helped claim an historical victory for Santos over Penarol – securing their first Libertadores (South America's top honour) since 1963 – there was a sense of acceptance. Santos fans have watched their young prodigy develop into one of the hottest talents in the world and now face the reality of their star leaving for the bright lights of Europe.
After showing Europe’s elite just what they're missing in a dominant second-leg display, Neymar completed the perfect farewell performance if he is to depart this summer. A 47th minute Neymar goal set Santos on their way to a 2-1 victory and as the final whistle blew, the 2011 Copa Libertadores was claimed for just the third time by the Brazilian club.
Neymar's future is just as important for Nike as it is for the club who eventually lands his signature. His imminent departure will be closely monitored by Nike who have one of the words biggest rising stars on their playing roster. Europe – perhaps Chelsea, perhaps Real Madrid, perhaps somewhere else - awaits. For Nike, it looks like another 'Cristiano Ronaldo case', where one of their biggest stars will be lining up in the three stripes!
Even so, with phase one of his career seemingly complete, Neymar is in line to become the defining figure of Nike speed. At just nineteen years of age, the young Brazilian is part of the post Cristiano Ronaldo generation. If the Superfly range is heading for a shake-up, Neymar is just the player to lead the new line. Expect to see a lot more of that famous hair style!
He's one of the hottest talking points in world football. Have your say online, on Twitter and on Facebook. Do you think Neymar will become the new face of Nike speed? Where will he be playing next season?