Neymar's Rise To Fame

Neymar, a sensational and quite brilliant winger who has taken the world by storm since he first appeared on the football stage. Neymar has experienced a career of two halves, once at Santos and then transferred European and Spanish giants Barcelona. Many people underestimated Neymar when he was at Santos, critics often pointing out that the recognition he had acquired , he was not quite worthy of, because the league he was actively playing in was not quite as challenging as some of the better leagues in Europe. Nevertheless, Neymar was still the standout player and has always been a promising talent and potentially future world’s best footballer.

Santos Career:

Neymar first joined Santos in 2003 and made his debut at the raw age of 17 in 2009. Of course most of us would be expected to be in college or 6th form at this age but Neymar had other ideas. Neymar won instant recognition in his first season with Santos as he won Best Young Player of the league in 2009. The following year, his hot streak of accolades continued as he won Player of the Year and top scorer in the 2010 Copa do Brasil. In terms of the numbers, Neymar excelled as he finished 2010 with 42 goals in 60 games, which is quite a remarkable and extraordinary figure considering that in the same year both Messi and Ronaldo finished with 53 goals which shows Neymar was not that far of the mark. Taking his young age into account, he was actively competing with the world’s best and to some extent he was respectively keeping up. However, it is important to remember that by this time both Ronaldo and Messi had already won the Champions League. A trophy considered the most prestigious at club-level and to win one and perform consistently in one was the sign of a world class player. Neymar wasn’t able to participate in the Champions league because of the location of his league and because he had never played in a Champions League campaign, this casted doubt over his true abilities and whether he was really worthy of his recognition and global hype. 

Story at Barcelona so Far:

Neymar’s career at Barcelona started off with controversy and expectedly so, but nobody expected the sheer scale that it would grow to. Immediately after his transfer to Barcelona, rumours about his transfer fee and the circumstances in which Barcelona acquired his services grew. Neymar’s initial fee had been valued at €57.1 million which was later changed to €86.2 million after a thorough investigation into the transfer by the state prosecutor. The results, Barcelona were charged with tax fraud, an issue which has affected other Barcelona players such as Lionel Messi and his father.

Nonetheless this didn’t seem to affect Neymar’s performances on the pitch scoring 9 goals and assisting 8 which doesn’t exactly do justice for his consistent performances on the pitch. The next season (2014/15) would be the highlight of Neymar’s career so far as Neymar ended with 39 goals in all competitions falling short of the standards set by Ronaldo who netted 61 and Messi scoring 58. However, Neymar was able to match Messi and Ronaldo in terms of the Champions League top scorer as all 3 finished with a respective 10 goals. Neymar also went onto to win a continental treble; Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey and also formed a deadly partnership dubbed, “MSN”, with his attacking trio counterparts, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. For his performances in the 2014/15 campaign Neymar’s brilliant efforts were recognised as he was shortlisted for the 2015 Ballon d'Or prize.