Neymar doesn’t get the credit he deserves sometimes.
Don’t get us wrong, the Brazilian doesn’t help himself with all the controversy, whether that’s getting into altercations with fans, desperately fighting for a transfer or rolling around on the floor for hours.
But there can be no denying that Neymar is one of the most talented forwards in the world and would probably have a Ballon d’Or to his name if it wasn’t for a certain two players.
It’s not exactly a newsflash that Neymar has the ability to become a world-beater, but the sheer extent of his remarkable statistics can often slip between the column inches.
And before anyone starts branding Ligue 1 a ‘Farmer’s league’, we’re actually on about his performances with Brazil as opposed to his current club Paris Saint-Germain.
- Great Premier League strikers ranked into tiers
- The 50 most popular footballers in the UK
- Check out our new GIVEMESPORT homepage
Neymar reaches 100 Brazil caps
Sure, like with any international player, you’re still going to face some weak opposition in friendlies but South American qualifiers are notoriously tough and boast some incredibly resilient teams.
So, it’s pretty impressive when you consider Neymar, now 27 years old, has reached the milestone of 100 caps with a record of 61 goals and 41 assists.
That’s more goals than players like Ronaldinho, Romario, Zico and Rivaldo ever amassed, while Pele and Ronaldo Nazario are the only strikers keeping him from top spot.
Neymar compared to all-time top scorers
It will, admittedly, have taken Neymar more appearances than some of his forbearers, but it looks inevitable that he will end his career as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer.
However, we’re not finished there because Bleacher Report have done some digging and compared Neymar’s record at 100 caps to other top players at the same stage of their international career.
The result is astonishing. Neymar has provided more goals and assists than Luis Suarez, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi all had by their 100th cap.
So, while Messi and Ronaldo will continue to build on their brilliance in years to come, don’t be surprised if Neymar finishes his international career with a better record.
And when you consider the fact Neymar has won the Copa America, Confederations Cup and an Olympic gold medal, even his international trophy cabinet is looking more impressive.
Sure, it doesn’t make up for all the off-pitch drama and Ronaldo and Messi’s finer club records, but just take a minute to pause before you next think about criticising Neymar.