Video: Why Neymar is the Most Polarizing Footballer on the Planet

Thanks to Twitter user @officialhrndz, who brought this to my attention, I’m happy to share possibly the only video in existence of someone with an English accent giving a fair and reasonable analysis of Neymar Jr.

The video is produced by HITC Sevens and is more than 13 minutes of analysis. The explainer covers Neymar’s upbringing in Brazil and rise to stardom at Santos FC, his glory days at FC Barcelona, and the troubling times at Paris Saint-Germain.

The juicy part of the video comes around the 7:28 mark where the narrator talks about his fall from grace in the Ballon d’Or voting and his public persona after leaving Barcelona for PSG with some believing the Brazilian has fallen below players like Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, and Raheem Sterling.

The narrator contends that the PSG superstar “has never been as decisive, complete, or effective on a football pitch then he is at this moment in time.”  The stats will back that up and if you want to toss out the Ligue 1 numbers, go ahead, his UEFA Champions League stats are just as impressive. There’s no doubt that if Neymar played for Liverpool, Barcelona, or any other top team in the world, he would make them infinitely better.

At the 9:22 mark in the video, the narrator gives his opinion on why the public’s perception of Neymar is so negative when he’s clearly one of the best footballers on the planet with a game that is highly entertaining to watch.

“Personally, I think part of it is out of sight, out of mind. Ligue 1 simply does not receive the vital audience that La Liga or the Premier League does.”

“Everything Neymar did alongside [Lionel] Messi and [Luis] Suárez at Barcelona was beamed around the world for all to see. But outside of the Champions League, his performances in Paris all too often go unnoticed.”

“That is very convenient for those who already had a natural dislike for Neymar and that is not an insignificant number of people. Neymar’s petulance and play-acting make him an easy figure to dislike and consequently, some revel in his perceived fails.”

Playing for PSG doesn’t help Neymar either as the video explains. The Ligue 1 champions are easily one of the most hated teams in Europe (if not the most hated), and that was on full display after Thomas Tuchel’s squad knocked out European darlings Borussia Dortmund out of the Champions League.

I was amazed that the video mentioned that yes, Neymar dives, but it’s because he’s the most fouled player in the league and sometimes he has to embellish a tackle in hopes that the defender will receive a yellow and think twice about roughing him up.

Overall, I thought this was a very fair analysis of Neymar that you rarely see from mainstream media. With the Champions League reportedly planned to resume in August, it will be interesting to see the reaction from fans and the media to Neymar if he’s able to carry PSG to the club’s first title in club history.

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Tags Barcelona Borussia Dortmund Champions League Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Mohamed Salah Neymar Raheem Sterling Sadio Mané