The Brazilian star shined on the past Friday to give the title of the Coupe de France to Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar reasserted his condition of decisive player in finals and he reignited the discussion regarding his condition of becoming the best player in the world in the future.
NEYMAR IS A DECISIVE PLAYER IN FINALS
It seems a bit obvious that when we say that great players shine in great matches, but the reality is that not many are able to really stand out in the finals played for their clubs.
A lot is being said about the player A or B, who is very good and is making a spectacular campaign with his team. However, on the final, the match that decides the title, not everyone is able to put their name in the history books by scoring decisive goals.
Neymar is different, proving to be a completely different player right from the start of his career. Showcasing his talent in the Brazilian stadiums when playing for Santos, it was with he club from São Paulo that he started showing his talent to make the difference in big games.
In 2010, he conquered 2 titles with Santos. The first one on the Campeonato Paulista, where Neymar scored 2 goals against Santo André on the decisive match. In the same year, he also won the Copa do Brasil, and on the first leg of the final, he scored one of the winning goals that put his club on the way to the title.
In 2011, they’ve reached 3 finals, and all of them included goals scored by Neymar. Once again on the Paulista, this time against the rivals Corinthians, with Neymar scoring once in the decisive match.
On the Copa Libertadores, he scored one of the goals of the victory over Peñarol that gave Santos their 3rd South American title. In the same year, on the South American Superclasico between Brazil and Argentina, Neymar scored one of the goals in the victory by 2-0 that gave Brazil the title.
In the year of 2012, heavily moralized and wanted by Barcelona, Neymar decided in almost every match. On the 3rd consecutive Paulista title, against Guarani, Neymar scored 4 goals on the 2 matches of the final.
Santos also won the Recopa Sudamericana title, by beating Universidad de Chile by 2-0, with a goal from Neymar. And to close out the year, another goal against Argentina, that ensured another title for Brazil on the Superclasico.
IN 2013 THE WORLD STARTED WORSHIPING NEYMAR
If in Brazil Neymar was already king, in 2013 he started to be decisive on international competitions. The first big competition was the Confederations Cup, that anticipated great expectations from the Brazilians for the World Cup that was taking place in the following year, in Brazil.
The final was between Brazil and Spain, the current world champions, back then. Brazil put on a show, Neymar put on a show and they’ve gotten an uncontested victory by 3-0, with a great goal from a set piece from the Brazilian No. 10.
Still in 2013, the first title with a goal on the final for Barcelona. In the 1st leg of the Spanish Super Cup, he scored the goal that resulted on the 1-1 against Atlético de Madrid and then he won the title once again. In 2015, the first victim was Athletic Bilbao, on the final of the Copa del Rey, where he won the title once again.
But 2015 was reserving something even bigger for him and on the final of the Champions League, he scored the 3rd goal, that sealed Barcelona’s title on the biggest club competition in the world. That was the last title of the competition conquered by the Catalan club.
In 2016, he brough an unprecedented title for Brazil: the gold medal on the Olympic games. On the final against Germany, we saw a 1-1 draw, with a goal from Neymar, that still scored the decisive penalty that gave them the gold medal.
In the same year, a goal against Sevilla that gave the title of the Copa del Rey to Barcelona. In 2017, the victim was Alavés, on the same competition, and they lifted the trophy once again.
In 2019, already at PSG, on the final of the Coupe de France, he scored on the 2-2 draw against Rennes. And now in 2020, in the same competition, he scored the winning goal on the 1-0 victory against Saint Etienne that gave another title to the Parisian club.
In total, Neymar scored 21 goals in finals, on a total of 37 finals played, 11 on the 1st leg and 10 on the 2nd leg, and 16 others on single-leg finals. Out of all of those matches, Neymar scored in 18 of them.
WHAT IS NEYMAR MISSING?
In terms of skill, finishing technique, personal success, agility and speed, Neymar is definitely one of the best players in the world. What the Brazilian player does with the ball is something unreal.
Neymar now reinvented himself, learning to play from the inside and not as a “classic” 10, but rather being a mobile player that knows how to assist and constantly stepping into the box to score.
That is not easy and not a lot of players were able to make such a drastic change, in fact, not even Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would have that ability these days, I believe.
Neymar never lacked the technique, he never lacked the personality to take on the responsibility in big matches. He never lacked personality as well, but maybe he lacked some complements in previous years.
On the side of Barcelona, although he was an essential piece, he was always in the shadow of Messi. In 2015, on the Champions League campaign, I dare to say that Neymar was even more decisive than Lionel Messi.
He moved to Paris in search of being the protagonist, but he is still lacking that maximum title to receive that recognition.
Throughout his career, he lacked more professional career advice. A lot of controversies out of the pitch and a lot of them in the pitch as well. He lacked some advices to be less gaudy and his father wasn’t the right person for that.
Although he has created great businesses and made Neymar’s career always entertaining, he lacked the calm of someone that could tell him to only focus on the things happening inside the pitch during some periods.
It seems that now that he is older, possibly more mature, Neymar has been noticing that he is one of the best inside the pitch.
He has everything to be acknowledged with an award soon. With a clearer head, and his unquestionable quality, Neymar is one of the best players in history.