Neymar is 24. He's the best soccer player in Brazil and one of the best in the world. He makes a boatload of money — and that's before his salary is converted from Euros to American dollars. And the soccer season is so long — club season, European cup chase, and international tournaments — that most top players rarely have much time off.
So you're damn right Neymar spent the last few months partying. Two months after the end of Barcelona's season and just prior to the start of the Olympics—where Brazil will be trying to win its first ever soccer gold medal—Neymar is having some fun. And apparently the media — ugh, that mothering media — has been giving him a hard time about it.
"I like to go out and have fun with my friends," he said, via Reuters. "I have family too so why can't I go out to clubs? I can and I will. I am well aware what my duties are the next day. I am going to keep going out and I don't see anything wrong with that."
Party on, Neymar. You'd think by now we'd be past the point of caring how much athletes go out — especially in the offseason — but we're not. He went to the pool with Serena Williams in Vegas, hit Ibiza, went out in New York with his dad, and frolicked on the same day Brazil got knocked out of the Copa America (Neymar was not on the Copa team because Brazil was saving him for the Olympics). A little fun and sun and a few models never hurt anyone. Though maybe we should be worried about how much time he spends with Bieber.
But, really, who cares? He scored 24 goals in 34 games in La Liga last year and 31 across all competitions. It's not like he's not doing his job. (But imagine how much everyone will freak out about this if Brazil doesn't win gold in Rio next month.)
It's times like these when you wonder why we're all so nettlesome.
"I think you have to start by looking at what I do on the pitch," he said. "The moment I am off the field it's my personal time."
And Neymar has one argument that can end this whole inane conversation.
"Imagine you're 24 years old, earning what I earn and having all that I have," he said at Brazil's training camp. "Wouldn't you be the same as me?"