Neymar Jr and the vicepresident of FC Barcelona, Ramon Cierco, following the presentation / PHOTO: FCB

The shirt signed by Neymar's Barça team mates / PHOTO: FCB

FC Barcelona and la FCB Foundation accompanied Neymar at the event / PHOTO: FCB

This Tuesday Neymar opened the new facilities at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr, the social organisation set up by the player and his family in the Brazilian area of Praia Grande.

The inauguration was very much a public event with more than 100 accredited journalists in attendance along with Roberto Mourão, the mayor of Praia Grande. FC Barcelona’s representative was club director and Vice President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Ramon Cierco.

The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr is an educational complex situated in the Jardim Glória neighbourhood of the city of Praia Grande in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, where Neymar spent a good part of his childhood. The aim of the Instituto is to offer extracurricular educational and sporting activities to the most socially disadvantaged children and their families in the area as a way of promoting social inclusion and encouraging active participation in the community.

'FutbolNet' to form part of the activity programme

The ‘FutbolNet’ programme, which promotes positive values via sport, will be included in the educational package put forward by the Instituto. Thanks to the organisation’s partnership with FC Barcelona Foundation, the project will also be carried out in second venue in Brazil, as for the last two years it has been up and running in the faveles in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr occupies some 8.400m2 and will benefit some 2,300 youngsters between the ages of 7 and 14 years and indirectly some 10,000 more. For younger children the centre will offer activities including football, volleyball, swimming, dance, reading, writing and IT amongst other subjects. For the families there will also be sporting activities as well as literacy classes, recycling, health and finance conferences.

The Instituto is developing a well thought out plan that involves selecting beneficiaries via criteria of social disadvantage. For example, they must live within certain neighbourhoods of Praia Grande earmarked as priorities in terms of social intervention and they must also prove they have attended at least 90% of their classes at school. Furthermore, they must enrol at the centre with another member of their family who must also make a commitment to take part in the activities.

Neymar:

“For me it is a pleasure for the FCB Foundation to be involved with this social project which is a personal one for me. I enjoy helping the boys and girls in the neighbourhood where I grew up. I know that people have been waiting for this project for a long time.”

“I am very happy to be at Barça. The World Cup in 2022, I will be there in a Brazil shirt; from now to then there is still a long time to go.”

Ramon Cierco:

“The Instituto Projeto Neymar facilities are fantastic and there is great potential. We believe that the ‘FutbolNet’ project of the FC Barcelona Foundation will be a great education complement to what the centre has to offer.”

“When FC Barcelona signed Neymar we believed we were bringing in one of the best players in the world, and in fact that is how it has been. What has surprised us is his commitment to social issues that chimes perfectly with the spirit of the FC Barcelona Foundation. Today’s event reflects that commitment, and that investment and effort. The FCB Foundation cannot fail to support that conviction.”

Neymar’s father:

“For our family opening this centre is a source of great pride because we are offering a space to which I was not able to bring my children, and with this project we can help lots of people. It is a family project which we have been working on for the last two years and we want to give it to the community as a Christmas present. The people of the Jardim Glória neighbourhood are looking forward to taking part in the activities which will start in January.”