Initially watching Neymar Jr. play was very Jekyll and Hyde, brilliant for Brazil but average for Barcelona. The Brazilian captain with 63 caps (and 43 goals!) grew into his role at the Catalan club, with his partnership with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi becoming the most feared frontline in European football. He has come a long way from the youngster that was often considered a mere show pony by many, including myself I have to admit.

Now though he is no longer considered a show pony, like Kerlon, but a genuinely exceptionally talented player, with an end product. At least at times. He does still have a tendency to do flicks and tricks for the sake of them, or seemingly just to wind up the opposition, as happened at the end of last season against Atletico Madrid.

Sadly he is also the subject of controversy off the pitch, surrounding his move from Santos to Barca, with dispute over the real fee paid, where the money went and the tax on the fee not being paid. The situation has become so difficult that he has even been named as a defendant in a fraud case brought by DIS, the Brazilian company that owned 40% of his rights while at Santos. The reported figure of £41m is not accepted as the true amount of the transfer fee.

His sending off while playing against Colombia in the 2015 Copa America could well have been as a result of the pressure he is under, not just being the captain of his country, but also facing these charges. Neymar Jr's former club Santos are now also in the process of filing charges over the transfer, with his father, the original Neymar, not escaping scrutiny for his part in the deal, despite his status in Brazil.

Under pressure from club members at Barca, it has been admitted that the true figure paid for Neymar Jr was much higher, with a figure of about £71m being the amount the Catalan club have revealed. With all the current controversy, it might be difficult for Neymar to concentrate on his game and give us more moments like this:

Instead of moments like this:

As you can see from the first video, Neymar Jr on the ball is excellent at dribbling past his opponents, though he does still have a tendency to do his work far too deep. Rather than looking to do his work in and around the box, he likes to drop into midfield to pick up the ball and run at people. That lessens the impact his work has, but it does mean he gets more of the ball to make an impact.

While Neymar does have lightning fast feet, and he does slalom through defenders at pace, he does not so much rely on twists and turns, it is more about quick shifts left and right, rather than pirouettes, that he uses. His feet are so quick, and his acceleration and deceleration are almost inhumanly fast, that he can use that incredible change of pace to leave defenders trailing in his wake, or flying past in front of him as he suddenly slows down.

I can not remember ever seeing a player able to slow down and speed up in the way he does. It is not just blistering pace, which is dangerous but can be more easily countered, it is that sudden burst forward or sudden application of the brakes that very few, if anyone else, can stay with. There are many players who can burst forward at speed, but almost no one can slow so quickly and yet still seem to be moving at pace.

The flicks, tricks and incredible ball control are world class, but what stops him just being a freestyler doing tricks outside stadiums to get passers by to throw money into a hat is that change of pace. It makes him able to get so much more out of the flicks and tricks than others could, enabling him to beat a player and leave him in his wake. Adding in the ability to score free kicks around the edge of the box, which he has got in his game, and you have a player who is truly world class.

It almost seems unfair to put him alongside Messi and Suarez up front, having, probably, three of the four best forwards in world football up front for Barca gives them an incredible advantage. If Neymar continues to improve on his end product, he could truly be in the argument for world's best footballer, along with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, in years to come. With the tax and fraud issues hanging over his head, it might be a struggle for him to keep his game together.

As well as working on that end product, Neymar will need to work extremely hard on keeping his focus, both in matches and in training, if he is to maintain his progress with all the pressure on him. Not only is he expected to carry Brazil on his shoulders, he is now expected to produce for Barca every week and now there is these court cases. It is a lot for anyone, let alone a young man of 23, who is still maturing.

It is just a shame he has a tendency to play act and look for fouls that are not there on such a regular basis. That facet of his game does sully him as a player, in my opinion, as he has no need to do so. The tendency to do that is the reason he ends up in the middle of on pitch confrontations, that sometimes end up in him getting into trouble. Leave that out and he would be a far better player.



Date of Birth: - 05/02/1992

Height: - 5ft 8.5 inches

Position: - Striker (But often drifts off to the wing)

Nationality: - Brazilian

Current Club: - Santos

Estimated Market Value: - Around 30 million Pounds, but it is unlikely he will move this summer, and may indeed leave in 2014, after his current contract runs out. (More in the business bit at the end)

Linked with: - Juventus

- Real Madrid

- Barcelona

- Chelsea

Club Statistics


2009 season - 33 matches, 10 goals and 7 assists.

2010 season - 31 matches, 17 goals and 12 assists

2011 season - 36 matches, 19 goals and 10 assists

2012 season (in progress) - 16 matches, 10 goals and 4 assists.

TOTAL - 116 matches, 56 goals and 33 assists

International Statistics

Brazil U19

2009/2010 - 3 matches and 1 goal


2010/2011 - 5 matches, 3 goals and 1 assist. (Just friendlies)

2011/2012 - 14 matches, 6 goals and 5 assists.

TOTAL - 19 matches, 9 goals and 6 assists.

General Comments

I personally believe that Neymar really could have it all, contrary to the opinion of Ed022, I know, who believe that he is an overhyped player. However, after watching lots of the player, I really do believe he could be right up there, as one of the world's best. However, many people say that he can eclipse the achievements of Pele, or Maradonna. To me, this seems over the top. I think he could be you Ronaldo, or Messi type player, one goal per game, 60 goals a year man, but I don't think he will ever challenge greats, e.g. Pele. However, most of you will have heard Pele's comments claiming that it is Messi who is trying to catch up with Neymar, in terms of skill and quality. However, he is clearly talking rubbish, most probably due to the Brazil/Argentina rivalry.

Anyway, the player himself. Firstly, the outstanding qualities of this player are plentiful. His pace is incredible, Walcott-esque, if not quicker. He really is that quick. Therefore, he can ghost past defenders as if they are not even there. The skills he also has, (there are plenty of videos on YouTube) of him doing keepy - uppies past defender, flicking the ball over their heads, stepover's, the lot. Some tricks I haven't seen before.

However, this leads to a downfall in the player. Sometimes he can be too busy trying new ways to beat a player, with a weird new flick. He can waste possession by trying something fantastic, instead of just getting past the player in the first place. He can try too much. It is a common downfall of many players, some grow up, and improve, and some don't.

However, his finishing is truly incredible. Any chance, and angle around the edge of the box, you can expect him to score, from anywhere, truly anywhere. But with his finishing, youthful silliness shows up. When Ronaldo, Messi or other great players have scored 2 or 3, when they have a chance to score more, they are 100% focused, and will score. However, Neymar can lose composure, be too cocky, and miss simple finishes, if he has already scored a couple.

Finally, Neymar's reading of the game is brilliant in my opinion. He is always making runs, through the middle, down the wings, anywhere positively really. Added with his pace, if a pass finds him, then there is no catching him.

However, Neymar has many things he needs to work on in his game. He is now seen as a danger, when he plays against any team, at club or international level. Therefore, he is always marked, and I mean always. Therefore, it is hard for him to pick up possession, his head can drop, his movement subsides, and generally he disappears. When the going gets tough, he isn't always there to fight.

Also, as mentioned before, his cockiness can sometimes get in the way. Trying one too many skills, or not finishing well, after he has already scored a couple. Moreover, as with any flair player, tracking back could be a problem. Especially, if he hasn't had much service, his head can drop, he may not work as hard for the team as he should. But then, isn't this a problem with all flair players? Sometimes a team just has to accept that he will not track back, but then they cannot afford to carry a player. Therefore, if he works harder for his team, a more rounded player would form. One with all attacking attributes needed, but someone who will help his team when it gets tough. Finally, Neymar isn-t a strong player. He can struggle if a game gets physical. Almost beaten out of it. Therefore, adding to my earlier point, when he is man marked, he can be bullied about, meaning his head will drop quickly.

Would Neymar cut it in Europe? - I think this is a very simple question to answer: yes. He has it all, skills, pace, finishing and making something out of nothing. However, I think, due to the less physical aspects of Spanish footie, this would be where I would advise him to play. I believe, the physical strength of English football would be too much for him; and with a culture of going down easily in South American football, decisions could easily go against Neymar, and he could soon get a reputation of a diver, which could destroy confidence and potential development. Therefore, Spain would be a safe option in my opinion.

Summary of Neymar:

Strengths - Pace, skill, beating his man, forward runs, finishing (and from anywhere), confidence (needed to be great).

Weaknesses - His strength, being man marked out of games, too cocky, losing composure, not always a team player and trying too much, instead of looking for a simple option.

The Business End of the Profile

To be honest, I'm not sure that Neymar will move anywhere this year, and I'm not totally convinced that he will move next year either. From interviews I have read with him, it seems he is happy there, wants to continue to play his football in Brazil, stay with his family, and learn his trade more. Also, with a World Cup in Brazil, 2014, he will also want to be playing week in week out, so as to stay in selector's minds. Even though it is almost definite he will be playing for Brazil from now on, a move away, not playing much, could scupper chances of him starting.

However, I need to be sensible here. Money talks, we all know that. And we all know that there are many teams ready to splash the cash, year in year out. Therefore, maybe a move to Spain could beckon this year. However, I believe that both Barcelona, and Real Madrid, will want to spend money in different areas of the team, and that a young, unproven striker really, around 30 million Pounds would prove insensible this year.

As I have just mentioned, I am almost 100% sure that he will end up at one of these two teams eventually. It's a hard one to call though. Madrid have more money, and should be able to finance the deal easier, however, Barcelona would seem to be a prefer destination of Neymar, and with them needing a new striker, I would say this is where he will more than likely end up, but not this summer, I would say next, if not then in 2014.

Finally, around 6 months ago, rumours surfaced suggesting that down payments from Barca had been made for Neymar. However, I am sure that this was a load of rubbish, and is not true at all.

{Ed022's Note - This is the first profile that was completed by a poster within this site, and I must say I was personally impressed. I have edited it a little bit (grammar, factual data etc) but to be honest, it barely needed tweeking. Although I have a different opinion to Burnsy, I must say that I'm impressed with the level of detail put into this profile and I'd say it's a job well done.

But the important thing is your opinion. This is the first ever profile on this site done by one of you posters, and I want to know if this is something you'd be interested in doing if myself and the Tech team created a profile page for just you fans etc for others to see, and if you think this is a good idea, or a bad one.

Just to let you know, when the new pages are up then this profile will be transferred over to that page, but I wanted to see/hear all of your opinions regarding this idea, and this profile in general.

To finish off, if you wish to ask 'Burnsy' a question, then drop a comment in the comment section, and I will post it, and he will hopefully reply in the comment section also.

Thanks all.}




Written by Tris Burke



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