ESPN Brasil's poll for best Brazilian post-Pele players shows the public's opinion on Neymar


Neymar has not just become one of the best players of his generation, but due to his outlandish fashion sense and his larger than life bravado, the Brazilian has become a global brand.

The 27-year-old became the worlds most expensive player back in 2017, when he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for a staggering £200 million.

The winger has wowed audiences for ten years now ever since his debut in his home country for Santos, scoring 289 goals in 461 games over his illustrious career.

Now his ability and influence on the pitch cannot be denied, but it is no secret that Neymar is not the most liked footballer when it comes to the general public.

His reputation for diving along with his luxurious lifestyle makes him an easy cast for the pantomime villain in this crazy world of football.

Brazilian magazine, Placar, gave Neymar his greatest title yet when commemorating his decade as a professional footballer, calling him the best Brazilian player since Pele.

Now even with the quality that Neymar possesses, this is not a tag that Brazilian's would throw around lightly.

Jose Mourinho had his say on the claim, saying that although Neymar is extremely talented people seem to be forgetting some of the great Brazilian legends of yesteryear.

Barcelona v Celta Vigo

"Neymar is a fantastic talent and nobody can doubt that,” Mourinho said.

“He came to Europe and won immediately.

“But I think they forgot players that were the best of the world at some point, such as Ronaldo and Rivaldo, just citing two, and I could remember more."


ESPN Brasil also responded in the best way possible to settle the debate, a poll where the Brazilian public could choose their favourite post-Pele player.

Does the dislike for Neymar have more of a European flavour to it?

Or does it trickle down to the roots of his home nation?


Well, according to ESPN Brasil's poll, it seems that the country of Brazil is not Neymar's biggest fan either.

As many as 160,000 voted, in a list that featured the likes of Rivaldo, Zico and Cafu but was topped by arguably the best player of the noughties Ronaldo.

Neymar could only muster a measly 11th place, which despite being a surprise does reiterate his reputation with football fans across the globe.

In fact, Neymar was the only player in the poll who received more negative votes than positive!

Check out the full list:

11. Neymar

10. Careca

9. Falcao

8. Cafu/Roberto Carlos/Bebeto (the most popular from fans who voted in the 'Others' column)

7. Kaka

6. Socrates

5. Rivaldo

4. Zico

3. Romario

2. Ronaldinho 

1. Ronaldo

Real Madrid's Brazilian Ronaldo poses wi

Admittedly, from this list it is clear that patriotic allegiances have taken centre stage also.

For example, as good as Romario was - and he was amazing - can you really compare his career, which was predominantly in Brazil, to Neymar's?

However you look at it, Brazil has spoken and Neymar has not come out of it looking great at all.

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