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PokerStars Signs Brazilian Football Star

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior Joins World's Largest Poker Platform

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Amaya Gaming Group, the parent company of PokerStars, said Thursday that Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is the newest ambassador for the poker site.

Neymar Jr. had a love of poker prior to inking the deal, saying in a statement: “Growing up and playing football everyday has made me a competitive person. When I’m not playing football, playing poker and competing against my teammates on the road or in home games with friends is one of my favourite things to do.”

The 23-year-old “is one of the brightest stars in the sporting world,” PokerStars said. “PokerStars is proud to be associated with him,” the firm added.

Amaya CEO David Baazov said the signing is an investment in the growth of poker globally: “Neymar Jr. is a young and extremely charismatic megastar who loves interacting with fans on social media, is comfortable on camera and loves the game of poker. And as a superstar with one of the world’s most famous football clubs and football nations, his appeal is global. This partnership is a great opportunity to market the game of poker across the globe and attract new fans.”

Neymar Jr. will play on PokerStars under the User ID ‘neymar-jr’.

The Neymar Jr. signing comes not long after football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly turned down a deal with PokerStars worth millions.

Other athletes sponsored by PokerStars include Rafa Nadal, Ronaldo, Fatima Moreira de Melo and Marcus Hellner. The company sponsors more than 50 poker pros as well.

The last poker pro to depart from the site was former main event champ Jonathan Duhamel.