Neymar has started this season in incredible goalscoring form, both for club and country.
With the focus on Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning effort for Real Madrid, the Brazilian's own exploits have gone somewhat under the radar. But they should be given more than cursory acknowledgement.
Looking at Neymar's goals scored throughout his career, he is on course to easily surpass the totals of both Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Despite being only 21 years of age, Sport newspaper in Barcelona note that Neymar has already found the net on 205 occasions.
That compares with Messi's total of 125 at the same age and Ronaldo's 118. Of course, there will always be those ready to put the mockers on any such records. After all, whenever Messi or Ronaldo set the bar, there's always someone ready to undermine the feat.
Inevitably people will suggest that the majority of Neymar's strikes came in the Brasileirao and therefore don't count in some way. Such a viewpoint is just a little ridiculous, you can only play what's in front of you.
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And in any event, we only need to again refer to this season to note that Neymar can, and does, score against the very best. At this point of the season, he still heads the Barcelona scoring charts which is no mean feat with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in your side.
A year in Catalonia has evidently worked wonders in terms of bringing on the youngsters game further. Gone are the rainbow flicks, the showboating and the need to embarrass opponents at almost every turn, replaced with a sharp turn of pace and an incisive run or pass.
Barcelona have turned him into a more complete player and one who now values the team ethic over individual glory. Loop back to a year ago and the differences in his own play are marked.
Where there was an argument to prefer either Alexis Sanchez or Pedro Rodriguez in place of Neymar, now there is no argument.
He absolutely deserves his place in the front three at this juncture and if he manages to stay injury free and in-form, then there is every chance that he chance that he can at least match Messi in the scoring charts this year.
"Messi-dependence" is definitely in the past. Neymar is the future.
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