Following a suggestion from Neymar, Brazilian side Santos has begun preparations for his comeback in 2025.

Before making the massive transfer to Barcelona, Neymar began his professional career with Santos in 2009. He started his rise to fame with the Black-and-white, where he displayed his skills that would later make him one of the world’s most gifted players.

The Brazil captain was with the club for four years, and during that time, he won six titles, including the Copa Libertadores, and scored 72 goals in 139 appearances. It’s a well-known fact that in Brazil, soccer is almost a religion in and of itself. Among the most renowned clubs in the world, Santos are a household name in Brazil and beyond.

However, the club’s worst nightmare came true this past season. Santos suffered relegation for the first time in its 111-year existence. Until very recently, the Vila Belmiro outfit’s predicament after a century seemed unfathomable.

Santos, along with Sao Paulo and Flamengo, were among the three teams in Brazil’s top flight that had never been demoted until this momentous occasion. But their fate was sealed with a 2-1 loss to Fortaleza; not even Marcos Leonardo’s 13 league goals could save them from finishing in 17th place.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported that in response to the relegation, supporters acted irrationally and set fire to vehicles, buses, and structures. In addition, supporters threw objects at players, causing them to flee the field in a panic. The police were alerted to the disorder and attempted to quell the disturbance.

What did the Santos president say about Neymar?

Fans of Santos, and former players, like Neymar, had to face the sad truth of relegation as well. Neymar heard his previous team’s demotion, and the 31-year-old rushed to Instagram to express his feelings. “Santos always Santos”, he posted.

Regardless of Santos’ recent relegation from the Brazilian top division, President Teixeira believes that Neymar has been in touch about a possible return to Vila Belmiro.

Following the confirmation of relegation, Santos announced the retirement of Pele’s legendary No. 10 jersey. The Brazil great has never had his jersey number retired, despite scoring 643 goals in 656 matches for his childhood club.

Neymar asked for the No. 11 to be free until he finalizes a move back, according to Teixeira. “Yesterday I received his call,” the Santos leader said in an interview with TV Santa Cecilia. “President, you’ve already retired at 10 till you return to the first division, so retire at 11 until I return,” he remarked.

“I’m already filled with joy (laughter) and optimism. We are waiting for the return of Neymar, who is our great star. His words have given us a lot of hope.”

What does Neymar’s future hold?

Now, according to Brazilian outlet Globoesporte, Santos started preparations for Neymar’s comeback in the year 2025. What is more, a stronger bond between the club and Neymar’s family, including his father, has developed.

After agreeing to a $98 million agreement with Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar is presently playing for Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League. The 31-year-old Brazilian striker has only played in three league games and two AFC Champions League matches since joining his new club.

In five appearances for Al-Hilal, the former Barcelona star contributed one goal and three assists. His season ended prematurely after an injury on duty with Brazil.

The enigmatic striker’s potential future retreat is still out in the air. But he earns $223 million a year in the Middle East thanks to his deal with Al-Hilal, which runs until 2025.