Lionel Messi and Neymar.

When Lionel Messi went head-to-head with Neymar in kick-ups challenge

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Football News

Now that Neymar has joined Paris Saint-Germain, the battle for supremacy can really begin between the Brazilian and Lionel Messi.

Neymar made the brave decision to leave Barcelona in the summer to escape the Argentine's shadow and prove he can become the world's best player.

As long as he remained at the Camp Nou, he was always going to be considered Messi's understudy.

Even the great Pele agreed with Neymar's decision, saying in September that there was too much competition for his young countryman at Barca.

"At the moment the best player in Brazil is Neymar and I think the move for him was very good because there was huge competition with Messi at Barcelona," Pele said.

"I think it's a good opportunity for him and he needed to move because now he can really play and show what he's capable of.

"But it's also very dangerous when you get given that responsibility."

Neymar has a lot to prove at PSG and he will ultimately be judged on the goals he scores in Ligue 1, especially with Messi in such fine goalscoring form at Barcelona.

Both players specialise in embarrassing opponents with their trickery, although they have differing styles of play in that department.


Whereas Neymar relies on step-overs, elasticos and pace, Messi simply uses close control and quick movement to skip past defenders.

But have you ever wondered who is better at kick-ups? Well, back in 2014, Neymar and Messi went head-to-head at an Audi event to establish just that.

In the video below, wearing tracksuits and trainers, Neymar and Messi try to produce as much energy as possible in 60 seconds by juggling the ball on the spot.


It was a close contest, but Messi came out on top by producing 1004w to Neymar's 989w, despite being over 200w behind at one point.

What the video demonstrates is Messi's consistency and incredible close control - the Argentine doesn't come close to dropping the ball once.

Neymar, on the other hand, almost loses control on number of occasions. If only it was a test of who could do the most round around the worlds.

Messi may not be the most skilful, but when it comes to close control, he's the best in the world by a country mile.

Lionel Messi
La Liga

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