Exclusive: Neymar Jr. Chats His New Favourite Sneaker, the PUMA Wild RiderRelease: 21 May 2021
Neymar Jr. joining the PUMA family was one of the biggest football transfers in recent memory as far as footwear goes. And now, the PSG and Brazilian national team superstar is finally embarking on his first lifestyle foray under the Big Cat umbrella. As an avid fan of the newest member of the Rider franchise – the Wild Rider – Neymar is the face of its latest, energetic campaign.
The Wild Rider brings a whole new dimension to the Rider family, with fresh layering and futuristic circles at the midsole. It’s a premium design inspired by the movement and motion of city life – always going forward, further, faster, and beyond! It’s a perfect match for the fleet-footed phenom from São Paulo.
One of the biggest sports stars in the world, Neymar took some time to chat with us about his off-pitch staple, and his future plans with the Big Cat. Enjoy!
What are your memories of PUMA sneakers growing up?
If I think of when I was a child, watching football matches with my father, there are two things that come to mind: footballers like Pelé, Eusebio, Maradona, and the magicians who played on the field. That was incredible! They all wore PUMA KING boots. So, I think my connection and memories of PUMA come from long ago.
Can you elaborate on the Wild Rider’s theme of ‘movement and motion of city life’?
Nowadays, everything revolves around movement, people, cultures, cities ... Everything is in constant motion. The Wild Rider is a sneaker of city life, monitoring your daily movements, and that’s what I really like about it.
Out of all of PUMA’s lifestyle sneakers, why were you drawn to the Wild Rider as your off-pitch release?
It is important for me, that I feel connected, in some way, with the shoes that I will be the face of. At one of my meetings with the PUMA team, they introduced me to the Wild Rider and explained how it kept elements of old PUMA sneakers, while also mixing modern elements, and that caught my attention. I am always on the move, looking for my next step, coming and going from Brazil to Europe, from one city to another. The Wild Rider is about this mobility, to perfectly connect with who I am and my way of living, to understand life.
Would you be keen to adapt some of PUMA’s iconic lifestyle designs into your performance shoes for the pitch?
It would be really cool to have a Rider boot. I’m not sure what it would look like, but I’m sure it would be cool. Just imagine! My priority when I’m on the field is to do my best. Comfort and technology are the most important when we think of football boots. And if, in addition, we make it as cool and iconic as the PUMA lifestyle ones, I will!
What other PUMA silhouettes would you like to collaborate on in the future?
It’s pretty cool to be the face of a PUMA lifestyle launch, the Wild Rider, for the first time. I am excited for what will come next with PUMA. I think we have a lot of potential, and we are in constant communication, sharing ideas and potential plans… We’ll see!
The latest PUMA Wild Rider lineup is available now in Europe, and releases on May 28 via PUMA in the United States and globally!