‘Neymar is the Justin Bieber of soccer. Good on the outdated YouTube. Cat p*** in actuality’.
Joey Barton’s harsh evaluation in 2013 unsurprisingly did the rounds on social media but it surely inadvertently raised an essential level about how the Brazilian is considered.
He’s gained quite a lot of trophies, together with 5 league titles throughout two of Europe’s ‘massive 5’ leagues. He additionally has a Champions League winners’ medal to boast and has gained quite a lot of particular person accolades too.
However not everybody’s having him. talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy labelled Neymar as ‘overrated’ regardless of the participant’s heroics for Paris Saint-Germain within the Champions League quarter-finals.
The 28-year-old missed a hatful of possibilities however performed a key position in PSG’s two late objectives as they claimed a dramatic win over Atalanta.
Jamie O’Hara responded to Cundy’s claims about Neymar, saying the participant is ‘on the identical degree as Lionel Messi’ and ‘would stroll into any group on the earth’.
Neymar can have the prospect to show himself to the doubters as soon as extra when PSG tackle RB Leipzig of their semi-final conflict tonight, a match you’ll be able to take heed to LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 8pm.
And these stats very a lot counsel that Neymar actually doesn’t get the credit score that he deserves.
Taking into account he’s had three completely different accidents over the past twelve months, together with a ruptured ligament on his ankle, it’s wonderful that he’s managed to attain 13 Ligue 1 objectives in simply 15 appearances. That’s a mean of 0.9 objectives per 90 minutes, in line with WhoScored.
He’s additionally offered six assists within the French prime flight, which is a mean of 0.four assists per 90 minutes.
Neymar’s objective contributions at PSG
2017/18 objectives and assists – 45 in 30 video games
2018/19 objectives and assists – 34 in 28 video games
2019/20 objectives and assists – 29 in 25 video games
Whole objectives and assists – 108 in 83 video games
However the naysayers will argue that he’s scoring in a ‘farmer’s league’, despite the fact that two of the 4 this season’s Champions League semi-finalists are from France.
Nevertheless, his type on the European stage is spectacular.
In 5 Champions League appearances, Neymar has scored three objectives, that means he has a mean of 0.7 objectives per 90 minutes.
In the meantime, his three assists within the competitors in 2019/20 means he has a 0.7 common per 90 minutes.
If PSG do get the trophy they’ve obsessed about lately, Neymar is among the first folks the membership will thank.