, BALLON D OR?
DANNY PRYER insists the Brazilian star’s record-busting transfer to Paris Saint-Germain won’t help him be the world’s best…yet
Don’t hold your breath, Neymar
IF NEYMAR thinks his move to Paris Saint-Germain will give him a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or award any time soon, he can think again. Don’t get the wrong, the Brazilian could be a future winner of the prize for the world’s best footballer, and that’s the key word: future. Future as in when the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have hung up their boots – as we know, they have been the two serial winners over the past nine years and it seems they’ll continue to be. The ex-Santos – and now exBarcelona – striker could well be the best player in his new team at the Parc des Princes, whereas at the Camp Nou he was made to look somewhat ordinary across the frontline next to Messi. To be fair, it’s not just Neymar we’re talking about. The likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Robert Lewandoski and Gareth Bale haven’t had a look in for the Ballon d’Or over the years – and these are some of the best players in the world. So if one of the reasons for Neymar’s move to Paris is a better chance of winning the award, that thinking is speculative, but irrational. Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo is getting on a bit at 32 and Messi is 30. But Ronaldo, the current best player in the world, has transformed his game into a number nine type and looks as though he will stay at the top for a number of years to come.
The Real Madrid star is older and arguably not as natural as Messi, yet with his goals he’s still had a few nods ahead of the Barcelona number 10 over the years.
Neymar is 25, with years ahead of him. Will the two world’s best still be producing the same stats as they are today by the time the Brazilian is 30 in five years’ time?
The financial package in terms of the fee and wages is world record numbers, but how staggering is it in today’s world? Does it surprise us? Not really. £450 million altogether - that includes a £198 million transfer fee and £515,000-a-week in wages after tax over five years.
This type of transfer was always on the bill, but PSG’s new number 10 could have got double the wages in China – this isn’t just for the money.
Neymar’s move shouldn’t be described as a big fish in a little pond move, as PSG’s project is exciting – they have proved themselves as one of the best in the world and, alongside Manchester City, are growing into a European superpower.
The Brazilian is producing world class statistics – 105 goals in 186 games for Barcelona was staggering. If those stats were before the genius of Messi and Ronaldo, he would already have been top dog.
It’s a new chapter in Neymar’s career – and an exciting one with PSG. Fresh trophies, fresh league, new country – and new defences to embarrass.
Yet he doesn’t need to set aside a place for the Ballon d’Or in his trophy cabinet any time soon.
Get stuck in: Neymar has a big challenge at Paris Saint-Germain