Mini-series tells multi-faceted story of soccer star



“Neymar: the Perfect Chaos” reveals a sad side of the Brazilian soccer player’s life.

Zara Siddique, Audience Engagement Manager

“He’s in constant chaos, you know? He often creates it,” says professional Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves, when asked to reflect on his longtime teammate, Neymar Jr. Neymar is the namesake of the electrifying Netflix documentary miniseries, “Neymar: The Perfect Chaos,” centered around the Brazilian soccer hero Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, and how his infamous reputation as Brazil’s diva came to be. 

The Netflix series initially seems to attempt defending the star known for his controversies on and off the field. It shows clips of his home life and his softer side, but they fail their purpose. Instead they unintentionally answer the big question millions have been asking: “Why is he like this?”

The documentary opens with a quote from René Simões, the former coach of soccer club Atlético de Goiás, after a match against Neymar almost 15 years ago. 

“Teach him some manners, or we’re gonna create a monster,” Simões said. It’s a quote that seems to define the theme of the miniseries. 

Each of the three episodes sheds light on a different stage of Neymar’s life. But even Neymar himself seems oblivious to the unplanned angle the documentary has taken. The first episode, “The Great Brazilian Promise,” highlights Neymar’s rise to stardom. Images of his childhood flash across the screen accompanied by grainy videos of a young Neymar playing soccer. A teenage Neymar announces his goal throughout fame is to remain humble, leading the viewer to ask “What went wrong?” The answer lies in the interviews with those close to Neymar sprinkled throughout the series. 

Episode 2, “The Comeback,” begins in one of the many business meetings shown throughout the documentary, revealing the concerning fact that Neymar’s family uses him like a business. Throughout the documentary, interviews with Neymar’s father permeate the screen, and the documentary’s big question of “Why is Neymar like this?” is answered. He was exploited by his own family members, who saw him as an opportunity to grow their own power and wealth. 

Over the montages of Neymar’s rise to fame and life throughout, the viewer watches a horrific story unfold. The young boy, who claimed he would stay humble, falls prey to creating a brand that extends far beyond himself — and at what cost?

The third episode, “This is Paris,” covers current Neymar, and the time he has spent on club soccer team Paris Saint-Germain. More specifically it focuses on his fall from grace as fans started to notice how detached and seemingly uncommitted he was from the sport. Sounds of his team’s fans booing him play over clips of Neymar scoring. He’s no longer the “The Great Brazilian Promise” he was at the beginning of the documentary. 

“Neymar: The Perfect Chaos,” won’t change anyone’s view on Neymar. He’s still the party boy and hothead the tabloids portray him as. But it does show how he came to be that way. It’s an unintentionally twisted coming-of-age story and offers no happy ending. It’s not a documentary of his glory and fame, but more so the realistic and harsh life of an international soccer star.