Neymar has been compared to fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho, with Ludovic Giuly believing the Paris Saint-Germain star will never reach his potential.
Like the great Ronaldinho, Neymar has played for both Barcelona and PSG, albeit he moved from Catalonia to Paris, rather than the other way around.
One of the main motives behind Neymar’s switch to PSG was reportedly his desire to win the Ballon d’Or, which has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and his former Barca team-mate Lionel Messi.
Yet despite helping to secure three straight Ligue 1 titles, Neymar has been unable to propel PSG to Champions League glory – coming closest when the Parisians reached the final last season – and at 29, his chances of winning football’s most coveted personal prize look to be getting slimmer.
He has also suffered several lengthy injury lay offs during his time at the Parc des Princes, while Kylian Mbappe has perhaps overtaken him as PSG’s standout superstar.
Having returned from the groin strain that saw him miss PSG’s Champions League last-16 tie victory over his former club Barca, Neymar saw red in a 1-0 defeat to title rivals Lille on Saturday.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 3, 2021
Giuly, a former France international who also played for both PSG and Barca – where he was a team-mate of Ronaldinho – suggested Neymar’s application is the reason why he will perhaps never hit the full heights that he has the talent for.
“I’m going to compare Ronaldinho and Neymar on a career level. They have everything, but they don’t give everything to be even higher,” Giuly told Telefoot.
Despite his concerns over Neymar’s work ethic, however, Giuly is hopeful the forward will agree to extend his PSG contract.
Giuly added: “Of course that is an important message for us, for his team-mates and for the supporters. [That] he shows his love and commitment to the club, it is something very important.”
NEYMAR’S 2020-21 CAMPAIGN
In what has been another stop-start season, Neymar has managed only 20 appearances across all competitions for PSG, starting on 16 occasions, with his overall game time 1,142 minutes.
He has netted 13 goals, averaging a strike every 111 minutes, while five of those have come from the penalty spot. These goals have come from 73 attempts – the second-most in PSG’s team behind Mbappe (114).
Creatively, Neymar also ranks highly. He has crafted 44 chances, including four assists, with 35 of them coming from open play.
This tally puts him second in PSG’s squad, behind Angel Di Maria, who has registered 10 assists from 69 chances created, while Mbappe has teed up an impressive nine goals from 43 opportunities, again indicating that the youngster is perhaps overshadowing the world’s most expensive footballer.
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