Since blossoming as a teenager at Santos, Neymar has remained one of world football’s most sought-after players. Few in football history possess a list of honours as extensive as his, having won multiple trophies in three countries.
Consistent top performances at his boyhood club gave the Brazilian his first taste of personal success. After netting 136 goals in 225 appearances, Neymar won South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. Europe’s top clubs soon came calling, with Catalan giants Barcelona procuring the then 21 year-old’s precious signature for around $64 million. Alongside Messi and Suarez, Neymar formed one of the deadliest attacking trios in modern football history.
His goals helped Barca to a period of domestic dominance, including consecutive league titles in 14/15 and 15/16. The Copa del Rey was lifted three times back-to-back from the 14/15 to 16/17 seasons.
Neymar’s talents also brought success on the European stage, winning the Champions League in 2014/2015 as the competition’s top scorer. The continental treble achieved in that remarkable season is a feat very few other players have ever accomplished.
Financial powerhouse PSG signed Neymar in 2017 in a €222 million move that stunned the footballing world. Neymar soon became the focal point of a star-studded team, winning four league championships in France 2017 to 2022.
The French Cup, Super Cup and League Cup also came easy, with nine total wins across his PSG career.
Is Neymar’s Time at PSG Done?
In spite of his success, Neymar’s time with the French champions has been plagued by rampant speculation about his future. Rumours of a secret feud with star-boy Mbappe, and a fallout with the PSG hierarchy have fuelled rumours of an imminent exit.
Despite extensive domestic success, many in the PSG ranks, including Neymar, are said to have grown disillusioned after years of European disappointment.
Neymar has flirted with the possibility of joining the Premier League for years. The financial might of England’s top flight means multiple clubs can afford the Brazilian’s hefty wage demands.
Having already conquered France and Spain, is a move to the Premier League on the horizon for Neymar? Those who play poker games might be interested in taking a bet.
Which Clubs Are Interested?
Neymar’s rumoured interest in joining the Premier League has unsurprisingly drawn interest from all of the division’s top clubs.
Spendthrift Todd Boehly is said to be actively seeking the move, after the Blues were linked with the Brazilian last summer. There are reportedly frequent meetings between the Chelsea higher ups and those at PSG, making a summer 2023 move a possibility.
Having already splashed over $600 million since American billionaire Boehly’s arrival, financial regulations could price them out of a move. Further doubt is cast by the fact that Chelsea’s dire season means they’re sure to miss out on continental football.
Manchester United’s incredible resurgence under new manager Erik ten Hag means Champions League football is a real possibility next season. Neymar may be enticed by the project that is underway, and can link up with compatriots Casemiro, Fred and Antony.
Liverpool’s surprisingly lacklustre season means new summer signings are both necessary and likely. Although their concern is more centrally, no team would reject the chance to sign the likes of Neymar.
Is Neymar Suited to the Premier League?
A tendency to dive has led to sceptics claiming that the English top flight is too physical for the Brazilian star. Injury problems have hampered Neymar’s recent career, an issue that could be easily exacerbated by Prem's unforgiving physicality.
Attitude problems and petulance have frequently been attributed to Neymar, with the Brazilian allegedly expressing discontent at being overshadowed by Mbappe. Many think such attitude problems will make adapting to the Premier League difficult.
Messi vs Ronaldo vs Neymar
Even into his thirties, Neymar is brimming with ability and remains one of the world’s best players. But how does he compare with Messi and Ronaldo, the superstars of a generation?
Neymar’s two goals at the 2022 World Cup means he’s poised to overtake Pele as the national side’s top scorer. Whilst extremely impressive, this is something both Messi and Ronaldo can also claim.
In terms of Balon D’or wins, Neymar is yet to win world football’s most prestigious personal accolade. Messi holds the most ever with seven, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo sits behind with five. Neymar has finished third in the award on two occasions, in 2015 and 2017. Before Mbappe’s meteoric rise, Neymar was long considered the consensus third best player in the world.
Neymar Could Soon Be Playing in England
Even into his thirties, Neymar still possesses incredible speed, dribbling ability and scoring prowess. Since his youth days at Santos, the Brazilian star has been instrumental in bringing success to every club he’s played for.
With his PSG days seemingly done, a move to the Premier League seems the most viable option for Juninho.
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