Neymar Junior can still win the Ballon d’Or according to Brazilian legend Cafu even though the form of the 30-year-old Brazilian star is dropping rapidly.
When FC Barcelona paid a whooping €88 million to Brazilian club, Santos FC to bring Neymar Junior to Spain on July 1, 2013, the then-teenager was seen as one of the most talented footballers of his generation.
Neymar was expected to compete consistently with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He showed flashes of his brilliance when he was at FC Barcelona.
Between 2013 and 2017, Neymar was so brilliant that he scored 105 goals and provided 76 assists in 186 games in all competitions.
Due to the superb form he was enjoying at FC Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain decided to break the world transfer record to bring the Brazilian to Paris. Recall that on August 3, 2017, PSG paid a whopping €222 million for the services of the Brazilian.
Then, reports claimed that Neymar Junior agreed to leave FC Barcelona because he wanted to leave the shadows of Lionel Messi who was competing directly with Cristiano Ronaldo who was playing for Real Madrid then.
But since he joined PSG, he has been a shadow of his former self. He often gets injured at the club which has made him a liability at the French club.
So far this season, the Brazil international who reportedly earns €4 million gross per month has managed to score five goals and provided five assists in 21 games in all competitions.
Recently, PSG’s fans booed him and Lionel Messi after Real Madrid knocked out the French club from this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign. The fans believed that Neymar and Messi did not do enough to help PSG qualify for the next round of the tournament.
Despite all these, Brazilian legend Cafu believes that Neymar Junior can win the Ballon d’Or. He insisted that Neymar is still one of the best three players in the world.
“It’s sad to see him in this state of mind because he’s a huge player who, for me, can still win the Ballon d’Or,” Cafu said.
“He’s still one of the three best in the world.
“I hope he plays for a long time. What’s certain is that the day he’s no longer on the pitch I’ll be sad.
“We mustn’t forget how enormous the pressure on his shoulders has been ever since he was very young. And he’s someone who people want to see play over and over again.”
Since Neymar made his debut for Brazil’s national team on August 10, 2010, he has scored 71 goals in 117 games in all competitions.
Recently, he said the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be his last. Hence, if he can not help Brazil to win the forthcoming World Cup, he might retire without winning the tournament.
RMCSport: “They don’t worship Neymar in Brasil” 🤡pic.twitter.com/fUhMUbxSNM— 🦅 (@Ani7ii) March 25, 2022