Indeed, 2014/15 could certainly be said to be Neymar’s breakout year in Blaugrana after a disappointing opening season.
Aside from Messi, only Ronaldo “O Fenomeno” Nazario has been in the same ball park for Barca in recent years.
The huge amount of sponsor requirements that come with being one of the world’s best football players, dealing with the massed throng of media after each and every game and press conference.
The scholar will eventually become the teacher, and Neymar has no better example to follow than Messi.
It’s worth noting that in goalscoring terms, per Thomas Hautmann of Fox Soccer, at 23 years of age, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored 107 goals in his senior club career and 20 at international level.
When reaching the same age earlier this year, Neymar’s numbers were already 219 club goals and 42 for Brazil.
You’d be hard-pressed to disagree with anyone who suggests that things can only get better in that regard for Neymar, because the 39 he scored last season were the result of a decent work ethic and a solid integration with Messi and Suarez.
When you consider the number of new signings over the years who have been unable to work the Barca system to any great degree and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one such it’s worth dwelling on just how natural a fit Neymar has become to the team and how hard he has worked to achieve the same.
Lest we forget that if 27 years of age is still considered the marker for a football player’s “peak,” then the Brazilian still has four more years of learning and development before reaching that point.
Barca have a rich history of Brazilian talent peppering their ranks, but Neymar could theoretically trump them all if his current trajectory continues.