Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona will face off next month in what will be one of the most anticipated UEFA Champions League Round of 16 bouts in recent seasons.
The tie will include an array of star talents, including Neymar and Lionel Messi. The two were teammates together in four seasons at the Catalan club and will now be facing off for the first time in club football since Neymar’s move to PSG. The two have had numerous battles in Argentina and Brazil international fixtures, but this tie will be even more anticipated than many of their previous battles against each other.
Neymar and Messi have been among the most proficient talents in the Champions League in recent seasons. But according to three key stats, Neymar has been on par with Messi when comparing the two since the Brazilian’s first season in the competition.
UEFA Champions League stats since 2013
331 – Messi (68G)
322 – Neymar (65G)
166 – Neymar
158 – Messi
Goals + Assists⚽️🅰️
76 – Messi
68 – Neymar
They face each other in 19 days for the first time in club football since 2011. pic.twitter.com/qL1lgQcBrV
— AllThingsSeleção ™ (@SelecaoTalk) January 28, 2021
The successful dribbles and key passes statistics between the two should not be much of a surprise considering that the two are arguably the best when it comes to beating defenders with on-ball movements and creating key goal-scoring chances for teammates.
What is of note is that Neymar is only a mere eight goal contributions behind Messi in Champions League play since 2013. Over this time period, Messi has totaled for 5,857 minutes played while Neymar is at 5,541 minutes played.
The most goal contributions that Messi has chipped in for over these seasons is 16 in the 2014/2015 season while Neymar has had a career-high of 12 in the 2016-2017 season while with the Barca.
The upcoming tie between Barca and PSG will surely be one to watch.
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