A mouthwatering Champions League round of 16 battle between Barcelona and PSG is just 12 days away.
Neymar, the world's most expensive footballer, starred for the Catalan club between 2013 and 2017. The infamous "MSN" trio of Messi, Suárez and Neymar is widely recognized as one of the most fearsome attacking combinations in football history.
2014-15 saw MSN propel Barça to a LaLiga, Champions League and Copa Del Rey treble. The trio combined for 450 games in total at the Nou Camp in all competitions, scoring 364 goals between them and racking up 173 assists in the process too - making a mockery of LaLiga defences.
In 2017, Ney switched Barcelona for Paris in an eye-watering €222m deal. PSG has dominated the French game with Neymar in their ranks but they've still not attained their ultimate ambition - Champions League glory.
They came agonizingly close last season but the Parisians fell at the final hurdle in Portugal against Bayern Munich.
Neymar has been a prolific operator since arriving in Europe seven years ago from Santos, hailed as one of the most promising players to ever come out of Brazil, and a possible successor to the great Pelé's throne.
He has notched double figures for both goals & assists in seven consecutive seasons and looks well on course to achieve the feat again in 2020-21. That, despite a litany of injury problems that have haunted him on a perennial basis. Whichever way you look at it, Neymar has delivered remarkable outputs on a regular basis.
🇧🇷 Neymar direct goal contributions (all comps)— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) February 4, 2021
🇪🇸 13/14 - 15G 15A
🇪🇸 14/15 - 39G 10A
🇪🇸 15/16 - 31G 25A
🇪🇸 16/17 - 20G 26A
🇫🇷 17/18 - 28G 16A
🇫🇷 18/19 - 23G 13A
🇫🇷 19/20 - 19G 12A
🇫🇷 20/21* - 13G 5A
💫 On track for double figures in goals & assists in eight consecutive seasons pic.twitter.com/onihLRPrs7
He's been doing it year-on-year for Brazil too, now second on the all-time scoring charts for the Selecão, with only Pelé to catch. 13 more strikes in the iconic green & yellow colours and he'll match Pelé's tally of 77, with his personal tally of 64 two more than the 62 goals plundered by the great Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.
In 2020, the Champions League comes full-circle for Neymar, whose PSG side will face Barcelona in the round of 16. It's the standout tie of the round and for the Brazilian talisman, there is surely a massive personal score to settle.
Neymar's 10 goals in the 2014-15 Champions League campaign included three over two legs in the quarterfinals against PSG, three more in two semifinal legs against Bayern Munich & an icing-on-the-cake effort in the final, propelled Barça to their last European Cup triumph.
Now he must put all sentimental thoughts to one side and make it his quest to take PSG to the quarterfinals and beyond once more.
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