Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has sent out a warning to his players to beware of Neymar‘s current form ahead of the clash against Brazil in a world cup qualifier game set to take place in Buenos Aires.
The former Barcelona manager believes Neymar’s current form at Barcelona has him in the same level with his Barcelona strike partner Messi and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo.
Messi picked up a knee injury early on in September, which left many to think that Barcelona would struggle to find the back of the net, but that hasn’t quite been the case with Neymar bagging 12 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions this season.
Neymar seems to have clicked quite nicely with Luis Suarez ever since Messi’s injury with the attacking duo seemingly scoring goals for fun.
Messi is unavailable for Argentina’s World Cup Qualifier against Brazil today, but Neymar is expected to feature for Brazil today for the first time since he received his four-game suspension against Colombia during the Copa America at Chile.
Martino believes Neymar is close to being on par with Messi and Ronaldo.
“Neymar has reached a point of maturity. He’s in superb form, nearly at the level of the two footballers who top them all,” Martino told reporters, referring to Messi and Ronaldo.
“Every player needs time to adapt. I had to coach a magnificent Neymar, but what he is doing puts him at the level of the two players [Messi and Ronaldo] we considered above the rest.”
Here are some key Stats of the season for Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo.
Neymar has played 10 La Liga games for Barca this season scoring 11 goals with an average shot accuracy of 58%. He started all 10 games coming on as a substitute in none.
Meanwhile, Neymar’s strike partner Lionel Messi has featured just 7 times in the La Liga for Barcelona this season scoring 3 goals and chipping in 2 assists. Messi has been out injured since early September, but there’s a chance he could return to the side in time for the Classico face off against Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has made 11 appearances in the La Liga scoring 8 goals and making two assists.
It is quite clear that Neymar is close to Messi and Ronaldo’s level as the trio share a similar goal tally this season, although Messi’s low tally can be understood due to his recent injury that limited him to just 7 appearances with the Argentine coming in as a sub on one occasion.