There is no doubt that Neymar is one of the best players in the world at the moment. However, due to the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, he is yet to win himself the famous Ballon d’Or award. However, he could be in with a chance of winning the top prize later this year if he performs for Brazil in the next few weeks and helps them win the World Cup in Russia.
Real Madrid’s Champions League success damaged his chances.
Neymar’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or did take a knock couple of weeks ago when Real Madrid lifted the Champions League trophy with a 3-1 win over Liverpool. This is because one of Neymar’s main rivals for the award, Ronaldo, was heavily involved in Madrid’s triumph and has subsequently boosted his own chances of winning the award. Despite the fact that Ronaldo was largely kept quiet in the final, he did score 15 goals in the competition overall while Neymar scored just six.
It was Madrid who ended Neymar’s chances of winning the Champions League himself this year with Paris Saint-Germain. The two teams faced each other in the first knockout round of the competition and Madrid came out as 5-2 winners on aggregate over the two legs. Considering Neymar arrived at the club for around £200 million last summer, the club’s hierarchy would have been hoping to reach the latter stages of the competition and perhaps would have expected more of a significant contribution from their main man.
Another superb season for Lionel Messi
30-year-old Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has also enjoyed another successful campaign and will fancy his chances of picking up the award once again. The Argentine scored a combined total of 44 goals this season for Barcelona in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Many people felt that he was perhaps past his best, but these figures suggest that he is still very much at the top of his game.
In comparison, Neymar only managed to score a total of 27 goals in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Coupe de France. However, he did make fewer appearances than Messi. Nonetheless, Messi’s statistics do stand out a lot more from Neymar’s, and at this moment it looks highly unlikely that Neymar could pip either Messi or Ronaldo to the award.
Will Neymar light up the World Cup?
However, there is one way that Neymar can change this. If he performs for Brazil this summer and helps them win the World Cup, there would be a strong argument for him to be crowned the Ballon d’Or winner. Of course, both Messi and Ronaldo are also at the World Cup with Argentina and Portugal respectively. They will both also be looking to impress and end their 2017/18 campaigns on a high with their country.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the trio performs over the next few weeks in Russia and whether Neymar can stake a late claim for the Ballon d’Or award.