The Brazilian international was earmarked as a future talent in his early career with Santos.
Both Barcelona and Real Madrid regularly sent scouts to watch him play in his native Brazil with a move to Europe a strong possibility before his 21st birthday.
After netting an incredible 136 goals in 225 games for Santos, Neymar joined the Catalan giants in 2013, shortly after turning 21.
However, despite going scoring 105 goals in 186 appearances, and winning two La Liga titles and a Champions League, before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, Neymar revealed his career could have been very different.
“When I was 10, Real Madrid invited me for a trial. I was thrilled and so happy”, he told an interview on the Fenomenos podcast.
“I watched their training practice (it was during the Galacticos era) and I watched a game.
“I think all the goals in that game were scored by Brazilians. Two by Ronaldo, one by Robinho and a free-kick from Julio Baptista and another by Roberto Carlos.
“After the game I got a picture with them. I was over the moon. I stayed there for a week.
“It lasted for four of five days. On the fifth day they wanted to take me to a championship at the Barcelona MIC Cup but I quit.
“I got really homesick and I wanted to go back home.
“It was pretty much all set up for me to play at Real Madrid but then I got back and stayed in Brazil.
Neymar finds his career edging towards a crossroads at PSG, with three, or potentially four, years remaining on his contract in Paris.
However, he recently hinted at an end-of-career move to Major League Soccer in the United States despite MLS Commissioner Don Garber warning against signing ageing stars looking for a final payday in the US.