Neymar reveals plans to become professional poker player after retiring from football

Neymar has been playing poker for seven years

Neymar has revealed he wants to become a professional poker player when he retires from football. The 29-year-old Brazilian first started playing the card game during the 2014 World Cup. He cites former Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique and current Paris Saint-Germain colleagues Leandro Paredes and Keylor Naves as people he frequently plays with, and he has now confirmed he plans to go one step further once he hangs up his boots by turning his love for poker into a professional pursuit.

When asked about whether he is looking to turn to poker when he retires, Neymar told CNEWS: “It’s true, it’s true. It’s one of the things I love to do the most. I feel very comfortable and I think that after playing football I will be able to do tournaments, travel to play tournaments that I have always wanted to participate in and could not do because of my agenda and my career. So when I finish my football career, that’s one of the things I’m going to do, travel to play this type of tournament.

“Among the similarities between poker and football, I think focus is one of them. The way you read your opponent and the game is also very important. I think one of the most important things in football, and what I do on the pitch, is to read the game, read your opponent, and see where you can attack, where you can move to create a chance for your team. And in poker it’s the same, you have to read the game, read your opponents and know the right time to attack your opponent.”

Neymar helped PSG through to the semi-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday after they beat Bayern Munich on away goals. The French champions will now face Manchester City for a place in the final after Pep Guardiola’s men saw off Borussia Dortmund.

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In Ligue 1, PSG currently sit three points off table toppers Lille with six games remaining.

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