GMF celebrates Neymar landmark

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Neymar toasted his birthday in style at the weekend as the Brazilian youngster netted his 100th career goal on the day he celebrated his 20th year.

He was, though, unable to prevent Santos from crumbling at the mercy of Palmeiras in the Sao Paulo state championship; conceding two late goals and subsequently losing 2-1.

Neymar is regarded as the most exciting Brazlian player in a generation and is seemingly set for superstardom in the near future, having been linked with a summer move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The young striker has been hailed as the 'next Pele', although he reached a century of strikes some three years later than the triple World Cup winner.

Neymar, though, was not far behind more modern Brazilian greats, with both Romario and Ronaldo recording 100 goals when they were both aged 19.

The Santos star can, however, boast a finer goalscoring record than Lionel Messi and the same age, with the latter waiting until the grand age of 22 before he become a centurion.

To celebrate Neymar's landmark, GMF takes a look back at five of his finest goals…

Brazil U17 vs Japan U17 - October 2009

A sensational talent from a young age, Neymar has been able to dazzle spectators ever since he first had a ball at his feet.

This goal highlights the skill and confidence Neymar possessed even in his mid-teens, as he netted superbly for Brazil under-17s in the 2009 World Cup.

Pursuing a defence splitting pass on the edge of the opponent's area, Neymar is fleet of foot to beat the Japan goalkeeper to the ball, before sliding the ball to the keeper's left.

Neymar then passes the Japanese custodian on his right, before meeting the ball before the six yard box and knocking it into an empty net.

Santos vs Flamengo - July 2011

This strike in a quite astonishing 5-4 defeat to Flamengo was enough for Neymar to be awarded the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of 2011.

After receiving the ball on the left touchline, Neymar weaved past three defenders before completing a one-two with a teammate and advancing towards the area.

The 20-year-old then showed quite breathtaking skill to bamboozle the Flamengo centre-back, before curving the ball deliciously into the bottom corner.

"I think it’s the best goal I’ve ever scored," Neymar said at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala.

Santos vs Botafogo - October 2011

After the collecting the ball just inside the Botafogo half, Neymar advances towards the area relatively unchallenged before being met by a wall of defenders.

Unperturbed, he shifts the ball firstly to the right, before opening out onto his left foot in order to create room for a shot.

The finish is sublime, with Neymar nonchalantly toe-poking the ball into the bottom corner, taking the goalkeeper completely by surprise.

Santos vs Kashiwa Reysol - December 2011

Neymar can hit them from distance, too, as he demonstrated here against Kashiwa Reysol in last year's FIFA Club World Cup.

Collecting the ball around 25 yards from goal, Neymar expertly shifts the ball onto his left foot and leaves the Kashiwa defender on the seat of his pants.

The Brazilian starlet then whips a wonderful curling effort into the top corner, and the 'keeper can do nothing other than watch the ball sail into the net.

Santos vs Palmeiras - February 2012

Although it is not an example of Neymar at his supremely skilful best, this goal makes our list due to its significance.

After Neymar wins a free-kick for Santos some 40 yards from goal, Ganso floats the ball into the crowded Palmeiras penalty area.

Neymar loses his marker to find space on the edge of the six yard box and steers a powerful header into the top corner to register his 100th career goal.

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