Neymar: The Iconoclast

No other player in world football is as polarising as Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar Jr.

The Brazilian’s flashy display of skill on the pitch and charismatic personality off is either loved or hated. There’s no in between when it comes to Neymar. Following his move to PSG in August 2017 and his performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Neymar fever reached an all-time high. Football pundits questioned why he would leave a legacy club like FC Barcelona for a French side that was created in 1970 for a record-breaking amount of money. It was personal to many in the English media and the keyboard warriors were relentless in their criticism. At the World Cup, Neymar was poised to lead his country to the title but the Twitter mob instead focused on his theatrics. Coming off foot surgery and the target of countless tackles, Neymar embellished a few challenges and with the world watching, he quickly became a meme.

How did Neymar go from the heir apparent at Barcelona to social media fodder at PSG? What is it about his brand that bothers people so much? How is Neymar changing football and why should clubs be worried? To answer these questions and more, PSG Talk contributors Marc Damon, Jon Olangi are joined by Chase Haislip of Canary and Blue and Robbie Blakeley for a very special podcast documentary. This is the life and times of Neymar:

On this nearly two hour episode, our team of experts discusses every angle of one of the best footballers on the planet in a way that you simply won’t get anywhere else. The reason we can say that is because, for most outlets, they talk about Neymar through a “banter lens” instead of a statistical-based lens that clearly shows the former Barcelona man as one of the top three players on the planet.

Legacy is another big topic for our group. How will Neymar be remembered in Brazil? Does he need to win a World Cup to be mentioned with the other legends of Brazilian football? What is Neymar’s legacy in Europe having won nearly every trophy available? What about off the pitch? Neymar has grown his brand unlike any other player in the game today and that may be where his biggest legacy lies. Players 10-20 years from now will likely look at Neymar and use his blueprint to carve out the best deal for them and not clubs who have morphed into mega-corporations.

Neymar is flair and fun personified. His game was not expected to work in Europe but it has and at Paris Saint-Germain, he has the opportunity to silence his critics, win more trophies, and launch his brand beyond what any other footballer thought was possible.

We hope you enjoy this podcast. It was a labor of love that took months to pull together. We thank Chase, Robbie, Canary and Blue, and everyone else who was involved for pouring their heart and soul into this one.

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