" - This is a 24" x
30" Acrylic on Canvas painting of
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
- Brazilian born
the Spanish FC Barcelona club
Copyright by Joe Versikaitis
With my family soccer has always been apart of our
livelihoods. For 14 years I coached and co-coached both
our kids through soccer. The hard work and dedication
that these kids put into this beautiful sport earned
them both scholarships to the Medicine Hat college and
University of Lethbridge . Myself growing up in
Venezuela, soccer was our sport. My
favourite player was Pele. Even though he was a
Brazilian he was very popular in our family. We own a bar and restaurant
but living in a poor
country like Venezuela we didn't
have organized soccer associations in our area. When we
played, in the back yard, in the school ground, or what
ever ground we could find, my position was always the
goalie. I don't think I was all that good but
I did stop balls from going in. Truthfully, I
believe I was the goalie because I was too fat to
Like most people throughout the world, my wife and I
spent most of this spring watching soccer's finest
showcase, Brazil's 2014 World Cup competition. Everybody
in our family has their own favourite team and cheered
our hearts away. My team was Spain, and no they didn't
do me justice! Regardless of Spain's outcome I
also cheered on this tournaments home team, Brazil.
This team was made up of younger and faster players.
They were burning up the field against any opponent that
dared to step in front of them. They had players like
Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, known as Hulk. This guy was
ripped like the Hulk. the young kid, Oscar dos Santos,
Thiago Emiliano da Silva, David
Luiz Moreira Marinho who had a memorable fist
shaking after he had scored, and my
favourite kid to watch was Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
- known as Neymwr Jr.
FC Barcelona club.
His playing style has earned him critical
acclaim, with fans, media and former players drawing
comparison to former Brazil forward Pele who has called
Neymar "an excellent player", while Ronaldinho has
stated "he will be the best in the world".
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup Neymar scored four goals
before he fractured a vertebra in his spine in the
quarter-finals and missed the rest of the tournament. He
received the Bronze Boot as the tournament's third top
goalscorer, and was named in the World Cup All Star XI.'
With 42 goals in 59 matches for Brazil,
Neymar is the 5th highest goal scorer for
his national team
As a sports artist my inspiration for this painting
came while watching Neymar score almost every game that
he played in during the 2014 World Cup. This kid with
the ball is fast, tricky, clever and moved very precise.
One on one Neymar is very dangerous. He is capable of
shining in any attacking position. What really amazed me
was his way to dance around a packed defence line and
score..Brilliant! Also, the way the crowd reacted I
thought wouldn't it something if I created an art
piece of Neymar in which all those fans could enjoy.
I asked my wife, " Wouldn't it be cool to be apart of
the World Cup someday?" I'm assuming she was thinking
just going to watch the games.