Neymar is the most gifted Brazilian player of his generation, and it’s undeniable. He has everything a player needs to be at the top shelf of football, but why has he never been voted the best player in the world throughout his career? This is a question that I always ask myself. The answer to this question is complex, and many factors have contributed to this. Sometimes, it was because of some lousy career decisions, and sometimes bad luck.
Neymar spent Magical years in Barcelona, but a sudden goodbye shortened what seemed to be a promising future. His best season in Europe was at the club. He won many titles and was part of the iconic trio MSN, formed with Messi and Suarez. I remember watching his most memorable moment in the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona. The comeback against PSG, where Neymar played a crucial role in helping Barcelona overturn a 4-0 deficit. He scored 2 goals and assisted in the match’s final seven minutes.
Who was featured on every newspaper’s cover the day after the comeback? Messi. Playing a perfect game and not getting the deserved credit must feel weird. This kind of situation made him accept to change from Barcelona to PSG in the next season. In Barcelona, he would always be overshadowed by Messi.
Now that it’s done, I can say it wasn’t the wisest decision at all. He should have stayed in Barcelona for more years, even though Messi was the leading player. The team was way better, and he was playing at the highest level. But I don’t judge Neymar’s decision at that point. I would probably do the same in his shoes.
PSG promised him to be the face of their project, the team star, a very competitive team to win the champions league and make him the best player in the world. But it didn’t go as they had planned. They do have one of the best teams for the last years, but insufficient to win their first champions league.
For Neymar to win the Ballon d’Or, he needs to do more than just perform well in the French league or win domestic titles with PSG. He must have an exceptional season, win major international tournaments like the World Cup, and help PSG win the Champions League. Performing well in the French league is insufficient to secure the award.
Another difficult thing for him was playing in the Messi-Cristiano era. It made his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or smaller. They are considered two of the best players of all time. Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance has overshadowed Neymar’s achievements. Messi has won the Ballon d’Or seven times, while Ronaldo has won it five times. Neymar’s best finish in the award’s ranking was third place in 2015 when Messi won the award.
Time passes, and Neymar is running out of time. He is already 31 and doesn’t have many years ahead playing at the top level. The news for him this season is not so good. He got injured in a league game and is out of the season due to surgery.
Injuries are another contributing factor that has made him never win the award. Neymar has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, which has limited his playing time and ability to perform at his best. This has also affected his team’s performance in important matches and competitions like his team obsession: The champions league.
As a Brazilian and as a fan of his football, I hope Neymar wins at least one Ballon d’Or and the World Cup before the end of his career. A talented player like him deserves it!