Following the release of his latest signature boot, the Mercurial Vapor Jogo Prismatico, we take a look back at what has already been a glittering collection of signature styles for the Samba showman, Neymar Jr.

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior burst onto the scene following his move to Barcelona in 2013. Despite playing in the shadow of one Lionel A. Messi, Nike were quick to recognise the potential of the young man from Santos, placing him front and centre for the launch of their latest silo, the Hypervenom. And it didn’t take long for the Swoosh to bestow upon him the ultimate honour for a professional footballer: his own signature boot release.


There was a time when many believed that Neymar would be the player to take the mantle as Nike’s main man. But while nobody could have predicted the longevity of Cristiano Ronaldo’s relentless career, his seemingly endless appeal, and his stubborn refusal to get off the throne, in 2014 Neymar was positioned accordingly as heir apparent. Following Brazil’s advance to the knock-out stages of the 2014 World Cup following a comfortable 4-1 win over Cameroon, in which Neymar scored the tournament’s 100th goal, Nike hooked up Brazil's golden boy with a special edition pair of golden Hypervenom Phantom boots.


Despite Brazil not making it to the final, the 2014 World Cup definitely showed Nike the star appeal that Neymar had to offer. Following the tournament, in January 2015 – surprisingly Neymar’s eighth year as a Nike athlete already – the Swoosh were quick to once again recognise his star status, taking his affinity for diamonds as inspiration when painting the Hypervenom in shimmering silver for the “Liquid Diamond” release.

His close relationship with his sister, Rafaella, is well documented, with the pair sharing a diamond tattoo on each of their arms. Just above Neymar’s tattoo is the word ‘sorella’ (sister), while Rafaella has ‘fratello’ (brother) above hers. “The diamond tattoo I’ve got was done with my sister,” the Brazilian explained upon the boot’s release. “We thought we’d get one done together because diamonds are rare and the feelings I have for my sister are rare, so we decided to pay homage to each other in that way. A diamond is a gemstone that is simple but beautiful. It is also a rare jewel that stands out and that is what catches my attention and reminds me of my relationship with Rafa.

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With silver and gold well and truly covered, Nike presented Neymar with the black and white “Ousadia Alegria” Hypervenom in January 2016, which translates to "daring" and "joy," – words he has tattooed on his calves and a feature that has popped up once again on the heels of his most recent signature edition, the Jogo Prismatico. Bruno Carneiro Mosciaro, a renowned Brasilian artist and designer best known as Bruno Big, was responsible for the boot’s vibrant graphics. While the graphic was intentionally abstract, the placement was purposeful. On the "Ousadia" boot, fingers wrap around as if holding it, while on the "Alegria" boot, the fist is centred where it would make contact with the ball.

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Nike then turned to Neymar’s love of basketball in a foreshadowing of huge things to come further down the line. In June 2016, Neymar became the first athlete across all sports to feature the "Jumpman" on his own performance product with the release of the NJR x Jordan Hypervenom II. The design took inspiration from the Jordan V, a personal favourite of Neymar’s. Splashed with dual signature styles, the release caught the attention as one of the first cross-sport collaborations.

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Four months on and Nike flipped the colours from the original NJR x Jordan design to create a "White and Red" edition of the Hypervenom Phantom II with dark grey detailing, featuring a couple of minor visual tweaks. The Jumpman logo appeared again underfoot and the initials of Neymar Jr.’s son (“DL”) took their place on the laces once more, as did the icon of the Brazil flag. On the previous edition it was Neymar Jr.’s Brazil number 10 that appeared on the lateral side of the left boot, but on the "white/red" update it was his Barcelona number, 11, that featured. The number 23 was on the right boot of both colourways in homage to Jordan and the sockliner and packaging featured a lock-up of Jordan and Neymar’s logos, while the boot heel featured the Jumpman exclusively.

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Then came Neymar’s first signature edition Mercurial Vapor in July 2017. A momentous occasion in his career. Titled “Written In The Stars” and inspired by his journey of turning young hype into established dominance, the exclusive design was set to mark the beginning of a significant chapter in the future of Nike Football.

Nike designed the boot to share the story of the player fulfilling his destiny and embracing the pressure on his shoulders from such a young age. Tributes to his country and family were present through the boot, none less so than the colours of the Brazil flag across the upper. His debut goal, his triumph at the Olympics, the date of birth of himself, his sister and his son, David Lucca, were all represented, along with his top speed of 34.7 KM/H. And that’s not all. It was packed with nods to his life, career and achievements.

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So where do you go from there? Well if you’re Neymar, to Paris. Looking to escape the shadow of Messi and establish himself as one of the greatest in his own rights, Neymar controversially headed to PSG in 2017. Representing a changing of the guard of sorts, a Brazilian baton of bespoke flair was passed on to Neymar in December 2017 as Nike served up the signature Mercurial Puro Fenomeno – a boot inspired by the R9 Mercurial design, it gave Neymar the opportunity to carry OG Ronaldo's legacy into a new era, whilst throwing his own magic into the mix twenty years on.

When Neymar made his debut for the Brazil National Team (at 18 years of age), he was wearing the Mercurial Superfly II. Befitting the connection both Brazilians had to the Mercurial line, the Mercurial Puro Fenomeno boots borrowed aesthetic cues from the Superfly II while also paying homage to Ronaldo’s original Mercurial boots. This was a desirable drop that was only released in limited numbers. Past meets present for a hit of Puro perfection.

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In July 2018, Nike served up some signature style with Samba flavour as Neymar and Brazil progressed to the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup. Debuting in the Last 16 match with Mexico, the Neymar "Meu Jogo" Mercurial Vapor 360 came in Canary Yellow – tying in with the Brazilian home colours – with an underfoot graphic that leveraged the 360 construction of the Mercurial. Meu Jogo translates as “My Game” and the design referenced Neymar's commitment to playing in his own inimitable fashion. 51 minutes and a few forward rolls later, and Neymar had opened his account in them, scoring the first goal in his side's 2-0 Last 16 victory.


Neymar’s style certainly courts controversy, no arguing that. Then in February 2019 came a clear message to all the haters with the 'NJR Silencio' Mercurial. At this point, with Ronaldo still creeping at snail’s pace towards the retirement door, Neymar was the only Nike footballer with a signature boot series. The NJR Silencio may have looked low-key from a distance, but up close the word 'Shhh' was scattered across the upper for a distinct – if not very subtle – aesthetic. That 'Shhh' wording was taken from a tattoo that Neymar has on the inside of his index finger, because obviously the gesture of simply putting his finger to his lips just wasn’t quite enough…

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Six months on and with a new season underway, Nike served up fresh season style for the PSG striker, with the Mercurial Vapor 13 NJR 'Speed Freak’, which featured strong links to the world of motorsport. The most obvious racing call-out came from the chequered flag print, while the red, black and chrome colouring was chosen as a tribute to two of the most iconic racing drivers of all time – the silver half of the boot was a nod to Neymar's pal Lewis Hamilton, while the red honoured Brazil's legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna. 

The rear of the Vapor 13 NJR Speed Freak was displayed to mirror the layout of race suit overalls worn by F1 drivers. The little icons were scattered around like sponsors and all point towards Neymar's journey: you've had the Osadia y Alegria text, the Sonho Dourado Golden Dream of his first signature Hypervenom, his roman numeral IV tattoo for his family and the Rihanna inspired 'Shhhh', fittingly the title of his previous Mercurial boot.

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And that brings us right up to the Mercurial Vapor Jogo Prismatico; a vibrant blast of pure expression that encapsulates everything the Brazilian flair man is all about on the pitch. The design once again hints at Neymar’s rich past, while it also includes his new look logo for the first time.

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Quite the colourful combination and quite the array of boots. But while the sheer longevity of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career may mean that Neymar never takes his place on Nike’s throne, he has already amassed a signature line that has taken in two silos and 11 different options, including some of the most unique designs ever seen. And he ain’t done yet. Not even close…

Pick up the Nike Neymar Jr. Mercurial Vapor 'Jogo Prismático' at