The 20-year-old has become the first player since the Brazil legend to win the accolade as a result of his extraordinary form over the last season in Brasileiro Serie ASantos striker Neymar striker has been named the first player to be declared 'hors concours' since Pele in 1970.
Latin for 'out of competition', the special award was presented to him by fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho. The former Barcelona star was also a winner himself, picking up the 'Bola de Ouro' [Golden ball] title, given to him for the standard of his performances based on match ratings, and he made a short speech to Neymar.
"You are indeed hors concours," said Ronaldinho. "In the language of football, the others are riding bicycles while you are on a motorcycle."
Neymar, who scored 42 goals in 47 appearances for his club this season, accepted the award but found it hard to express his delight and kept his speech short.
He said: "I have no words to describe how happy I am for receiving this award, I can only say thank you. To get this prize from the hands of an idol of mine is a reason to be very proud."
The presentation was made during the 'Bola de Prata' [Silver ball] ceremony, celebrating the players of the season in the Brasileiro 2012, where Neymar also claimed the 'Chuteira de Ouro' award for being the top scorer of 2012 with 56 goals.
Bola de Prata team in full
Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense), Marcos Rocha (Atletico-MG), Carlinhos (Fluminense), Rever (Atletico-MG), Leonardo Silva (Atletico-MG), Ralf (Corinthians), Paulinho (Corinthians), Ze Roberto (Gremio), Ronaldinho (Atletico-MG), Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo), Fred (Fluminense)