Neymar draws criticism for private 747 flight

Neymar Flies from Paris to Riyadh in a Boeing 747BBJ
Markus Eigenheer from Genève, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

In the world of football, few names shine as brightly as Brazil’s Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. Known for his remarkable skills and high-profile transfers, Neymar recently made headlines for a different reason altogether.

The Brazilian football superstar’s decision to take a private Boeing 747 flight from Paris to Saudi Arabia has ignited a fierce debate concerning the environment and climate change.

The Flight that Raised Eyebrows


As Neymar bid farewell to Paris Saint-Germain and prepared to join the ranks of Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, his mode of transportation caught the attention of the world.

Opting for a private jet over a commercial flight, Neymar embarked on a journey that has since stirred controversy.

The flight’s carbon footprint, estimated to be equivalent to the annual emissions of 85 individuals, has raised concerns about the environmental impact of such extravagant travel choices.

Some took to social media to express their disgust, following the posting of video footage of the footballer alongside the privately chartered Boeing 747BBJ over the weekend.

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A Staggering Transfer Fee


Neymar’s move to Al-Hilal came with a staggering reported transfer fee of $200 million, solidifying his status as one of the most expensive transfers in football history.

 The Saudi club contracted the player for around £77.6m, with some additional perks as well. It is understood he has been given four Mercedes G Wagons and a Mercedes van, as well as three luxury sports cars from the club.

However, this impressive financial feat was overshadowed by the cloud of criticism that subsequently followed his private jet choice.

Environmental activists were quick to point out that such flights contribute significantly to carbon emissions and, consequently, to climate change.

Defending the Choice: Neymar’s Perspective


Neymar defended his decision by emphasizing that he traveled with his family and friends, and thus required the privacy and convenience offered by a private jet.

He also expressed his commitment to environmental sustainability and his intention to offset the emissions generated by the flight. While his defense attempts to rationalize his choice, it hasn’t mitigated the concerns of environmental advocates.

Critics of Neymar’s private jet choice remain unconvinced by his reasons. They argue that the availability of commercial flights renders the use of a private jet unnecessary.

Furthermore, activists point out that Neymar could have taken a proactive step toward mitigating his environmental impact by supporting an environmental organization or carbon offset initiatives. Regrettably, he has yet to take such actions.

The Broader Implications


Neymar’s decision to take a private jet has placed the spotlight on the broader issue of private jet usage and its environmental consequences.

In recent times, there has been a notable shift towards reducing the reliance on private jets, with certain places even instituting bans on their use at their airports.

This incident involving Neymar adds fuel to the ongoing conversation about the environmental implications of luxury air travel.

Whether this controversy serves as any sort of catalyst for change or is merely a passing episode, it underscores the urgency of addressing the environmental costs associated with extravagant travel decisions.

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