RAFAELLA Santos has managed to create a successful name of her own despite her big brother’s superstar status.
But who exactly is she and why is she famous? Here’s what we know.
Who is Rafaella Santos?
Rafaella Santos is Neymar’s younger sister, who was born on March 11, 1996.
She legally changed her surname to Beckran once of the appropriate age.
Brazilian tabloid Globo claims that the surname change was in honour of her childhood idol, David Beckham.
She was raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil with her older brothers, Joclecio Amancio dos Santos and Neymar Jr.
Rafaella had previously been in a relationship with former Inter Milan forward Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa who was spotted early in on her modelling career but the couple decided to go their separate ways in 2018.
The model has an incredibly close relationship with her brother which has stretched as far as them getting matching tattoos and the pair even have tattoos of each other printed on their bodies.
Speaking about his sister, Neymar once said: “My heart is yours, my love is yours, my smile is yours, my day, my night, my longing, my best company”.
Their bond has caused a lot of controversies and has even led people to believe that there is a “curse of Neymar’s sister’s birthday“
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Why is she famous?
In the last decade, Neymar’s sister’s social media influence has skyrocketed with supporters being treated to the blonde beauty showing off her outfits alongside modelling for a number of organisations.
She made her name in modelling when she starred in a World Cup-themed advert for Beats by Dre in 2014.
Since then, Rafaella has gone on to model for a number of clothing brands which has landed her in the limelight along with being related to Brazilian icon Neymar.
As of October 2023, she has over 6.1 million followers on Instagram.
You can find her account under the username @rafaella
With some of the money Rafaella has made, she heavily invested in the charity Instituto Neymar – a charity her older brother created in 2014 which focuses on helping disadvantaged children who live in their home town of Praia Grande, Sao Paulo.
What is the curse of Neymar’s sister’s birthday?
Almost every year around Rafaella’s birthday on March 11, Neymar usually ends up with an injury or suspension.
Many believe he misses these games so he can celebrate her big day.
It began on February 28, 2015, when Neymar picked up a yellow card against Granada that caused him to miss the game the following month against Rayo Vallecano – three days before his sister’s birthday.
In 2016, he missed a game on March 6 due to another suspension from an accumulation of yellow cards in La Liga.
The curse happened again the following year when Neymar suffered an injury that caused him to be out of action in early March.
In 2018, he missed the remainder of the 2017/2018 season with a metatarsal fracture.
The following year, the same issue happened again, although he was able to return to the pitch for PSG in April.
Many were shocked when Neymar actually played in 2020 on his sister’s birthday, scoring a goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
But many pointed out that he couldn’t have celebrated with his sister back in Brazil at this point due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The curse returned in 2021 as he missed the match against Nantes with a muscle injury.