Wednesday, November 13, 2019

From Santos teenager to PSG superstar: Neymar´s decade in club football in Opta numbers

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Mar 2019

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Neymar has grown to become a household name in world football, so it can be easy to forget that his professional debut came just 10 years ago.

The 27-year-old has won two LaLiga titles, Ligue 1 and the Champions League in a trophy haul that reflects his outstanding talent, while his statistics over the course of a decade tell a similarly spectacular story.

As the Brazilian reaches a notable anniversary a decade on from his first appearance for boyhood club Santos, we take an Opta-powered look at his career in numbers.
 

Santos

At the age of 17, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior came on as a 59th-minute replacement for Mauricio Molina in Santos’ 2-1 win over Oeste on March 7, 2009. It was the start of something special – and it did not take the teenager long to make an impact at first-team level.

Neymar scored 13 goals for the club in his first year, followed by a staggering 42 in all competitions in 2010.

Steady progress in 2011 preceded a stunning campaign in 2012, including delivering eye-catching performances for Brazil at the Olympic Games, notching three goals in six games in a campaign that concluded with a silver medal.

Speculation over a move to Europe grew until Barcelona paid a reported fee just under £49 million to get the player to Camp Nou.

Barcelona

Neymar’s four-season spell at Barcelona coincided with a glorious period for the club, who won 139 of the 173 matches he started in all competitions. 

After scoring 15 goals in his first season, Neymar had his best campaign at Camp Nou in 2014-15 when he made 51 appearances. 

Playing alongside Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, he plundered 39 goals in all competitions with a shot conversion rate of 26.5 per cent. Barca only lost six matches with Neymar on the field, achieving an impressive league, cup and Champions League treble under Luis Enrique. 

His final two seasons were impressive without ever hitting the giddy heights of 2014-15, though he still scored 51 goals in 94 appearances and also contributed 41 assists.

Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar’s world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain raised eyebrows around the world but he soon began repaying the club’s heavy investment with goals. 

He netted 28 times in just 30 appearances in 2017-18 and recorded 16 assists – meaning he averaged a goal involvement every 61 minutes – as Unai Emery’s men won Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue. 

Injuries have blighted his second season at Parc des Princes, yet he still registered 20 goals in 23 outings before suffering an issue with the fifth metatarsal of his right foot in January.

Neymar has scored an astonishing 32 goals in 33 league games for PSG, becoming the fastest player to reach this tally in the French top flight in the last 45 seasons. 

He has also scored and assisted in Ligue 1 action on 12 occasions, which is more than any other player in the top five European leagues over the same time period.

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SoccerNews

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