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Brazil striker Neymar has turned down the the chance to join Chelsea, instead opting to sign a five-year contract extension with Brazilian club Santos.

The 18-year-old prodigy has followed the advice of Pele and new national team coach Mano Menezes to stay in Brazil, at least for the time being.

“The final decision always rests with the player,” Neymar said. “My father always will want what is best for me. I talked to him and decided to stay.

“Money alone does not bring happiness. I’m happy here and I want to continue being so.

“It was a complicated decision, very difficult. But God gave us the wisdom and power to make the best decision.

“Now it’s time to only think about Santos and winning more titles.”

Santos’ president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira lauded Neymar for his “courageous decision” to stay in Brazil and said he hoped the move would spark an end to the relentless talent drain to Europe.

“We’ve built a different possibility,” Alvaro said. “We no longer accept the idea that we’re an underdeveloped nation always at the mercy of the powerful European clubs.”

“The decision of Neymar’s is not based on a mere arithmetic comparison of figures here and there because if it was like that Santos would lose out.

“It’s a much wider reaching attitude which shows that a kid of 18 is capable of taking the decision of a mature man.”

Neymar emerged last season and went on to play a leading part in Santos’ Paulista state championship success, scoring 14 goals in 19 matches as well as 11 in eight games in the Copa Brasil.

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