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Neymar uses charity as motivation to win more trophies for Barcelona

Barcelona star Neymar says his charity work in his native Brazil makes him really happy and gives him strength to continue chasing trophies for his club.

Neymar was back in Brazil last weekend to attend his sister Rafaella's 20th birthday party in Sao Paulo, having been suspended for Sunday's 4-0 La Liga win at Eibar.

The Brazil national team captain also visited a facility for children near Sao Paulo, which is run by his own family's charity foundation -- the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr.

The player, 24, posted photos and a video of him and his father Neymar Senior meeting and playing with kids at the impressive facility, and spoke to the institution's website about how important such charity work is for him both personally and professionally.

"I could not come to Brazil and not visit here," Neymar said. "It is my family's dream and I am always happy every time I visit. It makes me want to keep growing this and doing this the right way.

"The love I get from the kids, the conversations we have... it gives me strength to return to Barcelona and keep running after more trophies. It makes me really happy to do something for these kids and their families."

The Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr. (INJR) was opened in 2014 and is located in the seafront city of Praia Grande in Sao Paulo state, where Neymar spent part of his childhood, close to the home the player's former club Santos. Over 2,400 children from poor backgrounds attend the institute, which aims to use physical activities to help with their socio-cultural development.

Barcelona have an official relationship with INJR, including the use of the club's 'FutbolNet' programme, which uses sport as an educational tool for children.

The controversial deal that took Neymar to the Catalan club from Santos back in 2013 also included a payment of €2.5 million over five years to INJR -- according to a breakdown of the total money paid provided by the club after Spain's tax authorities started investigating a potential fraud in the transfer.

This week's visit also came as Neymar faced further negative publicity in his home country -- with Brazilian authorities blocking assets including a yacht, a jet and several properties in early February as part of an investigation into possible tax evasion.

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