For all of the criticism he receives, it’s important to remember one thing: Neymar, regardless of what is said, is unquestionably one of the most talented footballers on the planet.
The Brazilian forward, who became the most expensive footballer in history when he joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in a £200 million deal two years ago, has performed superbly with every team he’s represented during his career.
He scored 136 goals in 223 games with boyhood club Santos, before netting 105 goals in 186 games with Barça.
Neymar won a host of major honours with the Catalan giants, too, including two La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League.
He has also enjoyed success with PSG, scoring a magnificent 51 goals in 58 games and winning two Ligue 1 titles in the process.
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Oh, the 27-year-old has also netted a remarkable 60 goals in 97 matches for Brazil, making him the country’s third highest goalscorer in history just behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77).
The South American is now hoping to seal a return to Barça this summer after becoming disillusioned with life at PSG and was reprimanded by his current employers last week after failing to report back for pre-season training.
Neymar is currently in Brazil, where he took part in his five-a-side tournament in Sao Paulo this weekend.
Footage of his individual highlights have emerged - he featured against the winners of both the women’s and men’s categories from Slovakia and Hungary, respectively - and they’re a joy to watch.
Watch the video here (click play on the black video window)
We’ve picked out some of our favourite moments from the video…
2.55 - Ronaldinho-esque fake pass
A skill that we’ve seen in the past from Ronaldinho, Neymar pretends to pass with a back-heel flick while holding on to the ball and dragging it back, fooling his opponent in the process. Beautiful stuff.
3.08 - Juggling and a back-heeled pass
Boxed in on the right-hand side of the court, Neymar managed to juggle the ball before sending it across the face of goal with a back-heeled pass.
3.24 - Scores goal with a flick
Okay, so this was probably an own goal but still… you have to admire Neymar’s audacity.
5.40 - Back-heeled flick goal
Now that one was definitely Neymar’s goal. Class.
7.40 - Outside of the boot pass
He took out most of the Hungary team with that pass.
8:00 - Pulls off the ‘shoelace’ trick
Neymar was just taking the p*** at this point, pretending to tie up his shoelaces while giving false hope to his opponent of gaining possession. Cheeky.
Now that Ronaldinho has retired, it’s probably fair to say that Neymar is football’s ultimate five-a-side player right now.News Now - Sport News