The Brazilian and Barcelona’s star forward has grown in stature in the last few years and is now counted among one of the best players in the world. His presence on the field is enough to inspire his fellow players to go for the kill while his opponents are unable to decode his numerous skills. As part of Barça’s attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, he won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League in the 2014–15 season and followed the next year by the domestic double. He came third for the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2015. With 51 goals in 76 matches for Brazil since debuting at age 18, Neymar is the fourth-highest goalscorer for his national team. Known for his dribbling, finishing, and ability with both feet, Neymar has earned comparisons to former Brazil and Santos forward Pelé. Off the pitch, he ranks among the world’s most prominent sportsmen.
Clubs want him
From Manchester United to Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain to Chelsea, the clubs are willing to shell out any amount to sign him in the future. However, his heart is at Barcelona and that’s why he is not willing to move away from the Spanish club. He is a complete player, who can score mesmerizing goals against any team and is unstoppable when on song. There have been times when he has led his team to victory single handedly that too despite missing the services of Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez. There was a time when Messi was considered as the top trump card of Barcelona but with the arrival of Neymar, it is no more the case.
Age on his side
The 2014-15 season was the best one for Neymar as far as Barcelona is concerned. Neymar ended the season with 39 goals in all competitions and 10 in the Champions League, making him joint highest scorer with Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Lionel Messi in the latter competition. Barcelona’s attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar, dubbed “MSN”, ended with 122 goals, the most in a season for an attacking trio in Spanish football history. He has not raked that numbers again but it is largely because of his new role in the squad, where he has been given a task of providing as much assists as possible to his fellow players. He is 25 years of age and still has a long way to go. With age on his side, he is bound to create more records in the future.
Gone are those times when Messi and Ronaldo were considered as the most inspirational figures in the world of football. Neymar is the new hot favorite of the budding footballers, who looks upto him to learn new tricks in order to become a better footballer. Apart from his on-field antics, his off the field heroics are followed too. Neymar reportedly gives ten percent of his income to his church in Brazil and has named Kaka as his religious role model. Each year, Neymar organizes a charity match with fellow Brazilian footballer Nene in Nene’s hometown of Jundiai, with the purpose of raising food for needy families. He doesn’t believe in living a very lavish lifestyle, which is something automatically associated with footballers these days.
Big match performer
Barcelona’s motto is “More than a club” and this club from Spain recently produced a historic moment routing France’s Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 to qualify for the Champions League quarterfinals. Having lost the first leg 4-0 in Paris, few had given Barca a chance of reaching the last eight given no side had previously overturned such a deficit in the history of the competition. But Luis Enrique’s side made a barnstorming start in the Camp Nou and led 3-0 early in the second half through Lionel Messi’s penalty. The home side was coasting, but just past the hour Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani’s volley seemingly put PSG back in control with a crucial away goal, meaning Barca needed to score three more times. However, with two minutes of normal time remaining Neymar’s exquisite free-kick gave Barca renewed hope, and two goals in stoppage time completed the most incredible of comebacks. In this greatest comeback, Neymar was the player, who stood above everyone and ensured his team’s passage to next round. In total, he scored two goals and assisted one in seven minutes to turn the tide fully in Barcelona’s favor.
Producing more than Messi & Ronaldo
There is a belief among football fanatics that Messi and Ronaldo are the best players in the world and there is no one, who can even come close to these two at the moment. However, Neymar has shattered this belief over again and again. He has shown that these two can be over taken if one believes in his abilities. He has the second best assist record in the ongoing La Liga campaign and is far ahead than Messi and Ronaldo. This is enough to show that he is ready to sacrifice his goal scoring chances for the benefit of the team, which is the attribute of a great player. He is younger than the above two mentioned legends of football and there is every possibility that he will keep on outshining them for many more years to come. He has become a fan favorite too, where his teams are counting big on him, which is no more the case with Ronaldo and Messi. The two stars are earning more than him because of lucrative sponsorship deals but Neymar is fast approaching them and if he continues to perform on the same lines, he is expected to become the highest earner in the world of football.