Barcelona forward Neymar may not have scored in the FIFA Club World Cup final against River Plate on Sunday but he still registered two assists and produced one breathtaking run at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.
The Brazil international picked the ball up 45 yards from goal and drifted past five players before he was taken down inside the box by Eder Alvarez Balanta. (Scroll down this page to watch Neymar’s run).
A goal from Neymar would have capped off a dream end to 2015 for the South American who has enjoyed an outstanding year with the Catalan giants, culminating in Sunday’s 3-0 win over River Plate. Lionel Messi and a brace from Luis Suarez, who netted a hat-trick against Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-finals, sealed a comfortable and convincing win for the European champions.
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Neymar relishes the big occasions - he scored in the finals of both the Copa del Rey and the Champions League last season - and is one of the few players in world football capable of producing such an eye-catching run.
The run was, in fact, distinctly Messi-esque from Neymar. How many times over the years have we seen Barcelona’s No. 10 weave in and out of opponents like this?
Neymar is happy at Barcelona
There has been speculation that Neymar is considering the idea of leaving the Camp Nou because of ongoing problems with the Spanish tax authorities combined with his desire to be the main man at one of the world’s biggest clubs.
However, Neymar is clearly perfectly happy playing second-fiddle to Messi for the time being.
The 23-year-old has praised Messi continuously since joining Barcelona from Santos in 2013 and the two superstars have struck up a firm friendship during that time.
After the win over River on Sunday, Neymar posted a photo of himself and Messi, describing the Argentina international as “my idol”.
Is Neymar now the world’s second best player? Have your say by leaving a comment below.