Will Neymar ever win the Ballon d’Or?
2018, in all honesty, wasnâ€™t the best year for Neymar. It has been a year that raised more questions than answers concerning the Brazilian’s standing in the game. According to the people from Betting SitesÂ who made an infographic about Neymar, the biggest of those questions is if the boy from SantosÂ will ever achieve his dream of lifting Golden Ball.
Considering the country heâ€™s coming from, there has been pressure on his shoulders from a young age to be the Messiah of Brazilian football and restore it to its former glory. Brazil has a record five World Cup titles and five Ballon d’Or winners.
However, it had no world titles since 2002 or even a final appearance, and no Ballon d’Or winners for 11 years. It appears that Brazilian football is very much in decline.
In his mid-20s, playing for one of Europeâ€™s top clubs and being one of the most talented footballers in the world, Neymar is certainly one of the top candidates to win the award. But why are so many experts still skeptical? Well, for numerous reasons, the biggest of which being his antics at the World Cup.
2018 FIFA World Cup
Before the tournament in Russia began, Neymar was tipped by punters as one of the favorites to win Golden Ball for the best player at the tournament.
He had been brilliant at the 2014 World Cup and the same was expected this year, but he ended up as one of the tournament’s biggest disappointments. There were bright moments sprinkled sporadically across the five appearances, but he spent so much time controversially diving and time-wasting that his brilliance was quickly forgotten.
It brought widespread questions over his attitude and whether he possessed the mentality of previous Ballon d’Or winners. After Brazil’s calamitous 2014 World Cup exit, the pressure was on Brazil and Neymar to set the record straight. However, the 2018 World Cup brought a different kind of challenge and he fell well short.
He became the fall guy for the failings of Brazil at the tournament, and there were questions over his bottle and character from Brazil’s legends. His outbursts and tantrums at the tournament were not fitting for a player of his class.
Bursting into tears publicly after Brazil’s victory over Peru left many questioning whether Neymar has the nerves of steel required to stay at the very top of the footballing pyramid.
Transfer to PSG
All this controversy in the summer came on the back of his first season with Paris Saint-Germain. His decision to leave Barcelona for France still divides opinion among fans and pundits.
Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition to lift the Champions League trophy went hand-in-hand with Neymar’s dream of lifting Ballon d’Or, and it seemed like the perfect union. Then came the D-day, a Champions League last-16 first leg clash against Real Madrid. The tie saw Neymar and PSG’s shortcomings laid bare.
From over-elaborating the most basic of shooting chances to making a pigâ€™s ear of the most routine passes and dribbling down blind alleys, it was not the night Neymar and PSG envisioned when they united, as Cristiano Ronaldo once again stole the headlines.
PSG’s very early exit from the competition saw Neymarâ€™s transfer mocked from all corners of the media. Coupled with his mediocre showing at the World Cup, 2018 did not go according to plan.
Nevertheless, his age and talent imply itâ€™s not too late to win Ballon d’Or. A player with his career and reputation should never be written off, but one does wonder if his stars will align on time to see him crowned as the gameâ€™s best player.
Infographic URL: https://bettingsites.me.uk/juicy-facts-didnt-know-neymar
Sources: goal.com / espn.com