Neymar has been a huge success at Barcelona since joining from Brazilian club Santos in 2013 and has established himself as one of the best players in the world. During his four-year spell at the club, he has scored a whopping 105 goals in 186 appearances. This has put him up there with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Lionel Messi.
We take a look at the highlights of Neymar’s Barcelona career and what is next for the 25-year-old winger at PSG. He has achieved so much during his time at the club including winning two Spanish league titles, three Copa del Rey titles and one UCL crown but there have been some key moments that he will remember for the rest of his career.
Helping Barcelona to the 2014/15 Champions League crown
Neymar’s most successful season in front of goal came back in the 2014/15 campaign where he scored 39 goals in 51 appearances with 10 of them coming in 12 Champions League nights.
One of these goals came in the UEFA Champions League final as Barcelona beat Serie A side Juventus 3-1 in Berlin. Neymar’s goal in injury-time capped off a scintillating performance from the Spanish side as they managed to open up a resilient Italian defence on numerous occasions. This, without a doubt, has to be up there with one of the biggest highlights in Neymar’s Barcelona career.
Scoring his 100th goal for the club
Last season Neymar achieved the impressive landmark of scoring 100 goals for Barcelona, a superb feat for any player, let alone a 25-year-old. It came in a 4-1 win away at Granada in La Liga in April.
Barcelona were already 3-1 up at this point, but Neymar capped a superb performance off in injury time to reach his personal landmark. The fact that this was only Neymar’s 177th appearance for the club, just goes to show what an impressive achievement it actually is.
Winning the Copa del Rey three times
Neymar has won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona for the last three years in a row and has scored in the final each time. He scored once in the 2014/15 final to help his side to a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.
He then scored a late goal against Sevilla the following year in extra time to claim a 2-0 win at the Vincente Calderon. Finally, this season he won his third Copa del Rey title in a row as he scored in a 3-1 win over Alaves. Interestingly, he was often still overshadowed by Messi in these games, which is most likely a key reason why he has decided to move to PSG.
‘That’ comeback against PSG last season
It would be difficult to look back at Neymar’s highlights at Barcelona without mentioning his incredible individual performance against PSG in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 match last season. Barcelona came into the second leg 4-0 down on aggregate after an abysmal display in the first leg.
However, Neymar helped his side make history by guiding them to a 6-1 win on the night to give them a 6-5 victory overall on aggregate and send them through to the next round.
The 25-year-old helped himself to two goals on the night and also assisted Sergi Roberto for the vital late goal with a world-class chip into the area. He was certainly not overshadowed by Messi on this occasion.
What is next for Neymar at PSG?
Many people have already doubted Neymar’s motives for wanting to move to the Ligue 1 outfit this summer. However, it could turn out to be a great move for him personally. He is bound to be the main man at PSG whereas, at Barcelona, he is likely to have continued to have been overshadowed by Messi for the next few years at least.
His chances of winning trophies will also not decrease as you would expect PSG to challenge for the Champions League next season if they do manage to secure the winger’s signature. They will also be looking to regain the Ligue 1 title from AS Monaco.
Neymar’s move to PSG might also be fueled by his desire to win the Ballon d’Or award, something that would be unlikely if he remained under Messi’s shadow at Barcelona.
There is no doubt that if Neymar can lead PSG to both domestic and European glory next season, he would be in a very good position to finally claim this award for the first time in his career.