Neymar has scored international goals at a higher rate than Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo!
Brazil has seen some legendary footballers over the years, so much so that Pele once said: “Brazil eats, sleeps and drinks football. It lives football.”
Pele might be the greatest player that Brazil has produced in its history, but there is a long line – from Arthur Friedenreich to Garrincha to Zico to Ronaldo, with numerous names in between – that have enthralled fans over the years.
If you had to name one player from the current generation who is likely to end up alongside those greats, then it is definitely Barcelona star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. The stylish Brazil and Barcelona forward casts a spell every time he steps out on the ground with his Nike Hypervenom boots that help him score goals at an unmatched rate.
Having just turned 25 a couple of weeks ago, Neymar already has 50 international goals to his name. He has taken just 75 matches to get to that mark, scoring at a rate of 0.67 goals per game.
On Comparing that to Ronaldo, undoubtedly one of the greatest Brazilian footballers of all time, who managed to find the net 62 times in 98 matches which is 0.63 goals per game (lesser than Neymar’s).
As Compared to Neymar’s scoring rate at the international level to the two best footballers of this generation and he comes out on top by a long margin. Lionel Messi’s rate of scoring for Argentina is 0.49 goals per game while Cristiano Ronaldo scores 0.50 goals per game for Portugal.
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With time on his side, Neymar should also be able to break Pele’s record of most goals for the Brazilian national team (77). His prime attributes – dribbling and finishing – a lethal combination for a forward are accentuated with the gear he wears as the Nike Hypervenom with its unique features help him accentuate these very skills and make him a nightmare for the defenders.
One criticism of Neymar has been that despite his outstanding international record individually, he hasn’t been able to guide the Selecao to a major international title yet. But at the age of 25, he has time on his side and things seem to be going in the right direction for Brazil, having won Gold at the Olympics on home soil and then defeating arch-rivals Argentina 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier last year.
Neymar’s incredible ability is also quite evident in club football. Since making his debut for Santos in 2009 as a 17-year-old, the Mogi das Cruzes-born forward has grown from strength to strength.
In 2011, Neymar was adjudged as the best player of the tournament when Santos lifted the Copa Libertadores – the most prestigious club competition in South America – for the first time since 1963. He hadn’t even turned 20 at the time!
Two years later, Neymar would make a much-anticipated transfer to Spanish giants FC Barcelona. The club already had in Messi one of the best players of all time and there were doubts if the two could play together.
Although Barcelona went trophy less in Neymar’s first season in Europe, the entire scene changed in 2014/15. Alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, Neymar flourished as Barcelona would go on to win the treble – La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
He scored 10 goals (joint top goal-scorer) in the Champions League that season which included goals in the final against Juventus, both legs of the semi-final against Bayern Munich and both legs of the quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain.
Still only 23 at that time, Neymar had already won the biggest club tournaments in South America and Europe. At the end of the year, he made it to the podium at the FIFA Ballon d’Or, finishing third behind Messi and Cristiano.
He followed the treble-winning season with his best goal-scoring season in the league. In 2015/16, Neymar would score 24 goals in the league as Barcelona won the domestic double of La Liga and Copa del Rey.
Already filled with immense talent, Neymar has also found the perfect partner in the Nike Hypervenom boots that he sports on the field. The Nike Hypervenom is designed to help one’s shot speed and enables quick change in direction, and we can see that evidently in Neymar’s game.