Neymar, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho: The greatest seasons by Brazilians since 2000

Neymar will go down as an all-time great, of that there should be no doubt whatsoever.

Sure, the Paris Saint-Germain forward isn’t everybody’s cup of tea with his fiery nature and proneness to feigning injury, but from a strictly footballing perspective he’s absolutely magnificent.

Neymar is a pure entertainer and has managed to find the sweet spot in which he compliments his array of garish skill moves with world-class output.

At club level with Santos, Barcelona and PSG, the 30-year-old superstar has scored 274 goals and assisted a further 171.

On the international stage, Neymar’s numbers are up there with the very best in history.

He has 71 goals and 52 assists to his name from 117 outings in Brazil’s colours, an average of 1.05 contributions per match.

Neymar reacts after assisting a goal for Brazil
MIAMI, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 06: Neymar Jr. #10 of Brazil reacts after assisting Casemiro #5 on a goal against Colombia during the first half of the friendly at Hard Rock Stadium on September 06, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

If there’s anything to be said about Neymar, it’s the fact that he’s massively underrated by the masses in the present day.

And the folks over at PopFoot have highlighted that further by detailing the 20 best seasons by a Brazilian player in the 21st century.

Contributions for both club and country contribute to the overall totals provided for each player.

Neymar & Ronaldinho in Brazil training
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 05: Neymar (L) watches Ronaldinho of Brazil during a Brazil training session at The Hive football centre on February 5, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The 20 best seasons by Brazilians in the 21st century

20. Robinho (Real Madrid, 2009/09) – 21 goals, 15 assists | 37 contributions

19. Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim, 2013/14) – 22 goals, 16 assists | 38 contributions

18. Ronaldo Nazario (Real Madrid, 2002/03) – 32 goals, 6 assists | 38 contributions

17. Vinicius Junior* (Real Madrid, 2021/22) – 22 goals, 16 assists | 38 contributions

16. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, 2020/21) – 24 goals, 14 assists | 38 contributions

Neymar celebrates goal for PSG in 2020
PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 11: (FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE) In this handout image provided by UEFA, Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund at Parc des Princes on March 11, 2020 in Paris, France. The match is played behind closed doors as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). (Photo by UEFA – Handout/UEFA via Getty Images)

15. Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City, 2018/19) – 29 goals, 10 assists | 39 contributions

14. Luis Fabiano (Sevilla, 2007/08) – 36 goals, 4 assists | 40 contributions

13. Ronaldinho (Barcelona, 2006/07) – 26 goals, 14 assists | 40 contributions

12. Ronaldinho (Barcelona, 2004/05) – 24 goals, 17 assists | 41 contributions

11. Adriano (Inter Milan, 2004/05) – 35 goals, 7 assists | 42 contributions

Inter Milan icon Adriano wheels away in celebration
MILAN, ITALY – OCTOBER 17: Adriano of Inter celebrates after scoring during the Inter Milan v Udinese Serie A match played at the San Siro Guisseppe Meazza October 17, 2004 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Newpress/Getty Images)

10. Nene (Paris Saint-Germain, 2011/12) – 27 goals, 15 assists | 42 contributions

9. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, 2018/19) – 27 goals, 17 assists | 44 contributions

8. Ronaldo Nazario (Real Madrid, 2003/04) – 37 goals, 9 assists | 46 contributions

7. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool, 2017/18) – 29 goals, 18 assists | 47 contributions

6. Ronaldinho (Barcelona, 2005/06) – 26 goals, 21 assists | 47 contributions

Ronaldinho in action for Barcelona in the Champions League final vs Arsenal
PARIS – MAY 17: Ronaldinho of Barcelona shoots during the UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and Barcelona at the Stade de France on May 17, 2006 in Paris, France. (Photo by Laurence Grifftihs/Getty Images)

5. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain, 2017/18) – 32 goals, 19 assists | 51 contributions

4. Neymar (Barcelona, 2016/17) – 26 goals, 26 assists | 52 contributions

3. Neymar (Barcelona, 2013/14) – 30 goals, 22 assists | 52 contributions

2. Neymar (Barcelona, 2015/16) – 33 goals, 20 assists | 53 contributions

  1. Neymar (Barcelona, 2014/15) – 48 goals, 10 assists | 58 contributions
The 20 best seasons by Brazilian players

So, only one Brazilian has reached the landmark of 50 goal contributions in a single season and it’s Neymar – who’s achieved that feat an astonishing five times.

Overall, Neymar features seven times on the 20-man list, with Ronaldinho the player with the second-most inclusions on three.

Firmino and Ronaldo are the other two players to make the cut more than once.

Neymar & Firmino in action together with Brazil
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 03: Firmino of Brazil celebrates after scoring his sides second goal as Neymar Jr of Brazil looks on during the International Friendly match between Croatia and Brazil at Anfield on June 3, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Neymar’s numbers above speak for themselves and it’s why he’ll go down as one of the greatest to have played the beautiful game.

If he helps Brazil win a sixth World Cup later this year, all his doubters will finally be silenced once and for all – even though they should have been already.

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