Neymar has a path – and that path is to become one of the all-time greats of football history, something that can’t be achieved alongside Leo Messi
In what is the biggest transfer in the history of football, Neymar Jr. has joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for an astonishing fee of $263M. Neymar will reportedly earn over $700 thousand-a-week, making him the best-paid football player in the world. The Brazilian winger, however, has openly stated that the move wasn’t made for financial reasons.
Instead, Neymar’s reason to leave is to become the world’s best player and frankly, this can’t be achieved when you play on the same team as the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi. Neymar spent four years alongside Messi and the Brazil No10 has frequently emphasised his admiration for the Argentinian genius.
Messi was one of, if not the reasons for Neymar to join Barcelona in the summer of 2013 after impressing for Santos back in Brazil. In Brazil, Neymar was already a superstar at the age of 16 and while in the early stages of his career some people from the old continent were questioning his abilities and calling him a YouTube player, in Europe Neymar quickly showed his unbelievable ability after a season of adaptation.
In the 2014/15, Neymar was arguably Barcelona’s best player in a Champions League winning campaign and the levels he showed in Messi’s absence in the following campaign were simply unreal. More and more media, especially in South America, were implying that Neymar was ready to step out of the formidable shadow of Messi.
Joey Barton providing an excellent prediction on Neymar 🤣 pic.twitter.com/giqqEdXtb0
— Matt Davis (@62mphMatt) August 5, 2017
Therefore, his move to PSG is perfect. The Ligue Un giants are a club still in need of recognition in their post-Zlatan world, despite the endless amounts of money they have already invested. Because although PSG has dominated French football in recent years, in Europe the club has failed to impress and when they do, they fail in style like against Barcelona last season in the Champions League (6-1)
With the signing of Neymar, PSG look to have taken that final step to really be able compete in Europe with the likes of Real Madrid and the Brazilian’s former club, Barcelona. The transfer makes sense; the owners of PSG want the Champions League and Neymar wants to win the Ballon d’Or, which requires a Champions League title.
At 25, Lionel Messi had already won four Champions League titles, three Ballon d’Or’s and had a legitimate claim of being the best of all time. Neymar couldn’t match this but, honestly, who can?
What Neymar can do from this point on is to build his own legacy. For Brazil, Neymar has already on the way, winning the Olympics and closing in on Pelé’s record of most goals scored for Brazil.
At PSG, Neymar has all the ingredients to write his own story. He has a quality team around him, filled with Brazilians. And more importantly, he himself is the most talented player of the post-Messi generation. To equal Messi will never happen, but to go down as one of the greatest players to grace the field is certainly a possibility.