Neymar perhaps delivered his best FC Barcelona performance since arriving at the club in 2013. The Brazilian demonstrated the he’s in condition to be the players Barça need while the wait for Lionel Messi to return. Now, wiith La Liga parked up for a week, it’s time for him to take that form into the Champions League.
The 23-year-old was exceptional against Rayo Vallecano, scoring his first four-goal haul in a blaugrana shirt, two with his left, two with his right. He then created the fifth goal for Luis Suarez, showing that he’s the man to lead Barça at a delicate moment, due to injuries and some players being out of form.
Neymar is not only Barcelona’s top scorer this season eight (Luis Suarez has seven in all competitions), but also leads the Pichichi in La Liga, ahead of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nolito (six each). Suarez and the injured Messi both have three.
In five of his nine official appearances this season, Neymar has found the net. Now what is left is to re-find his form in Europe. So far in the Champions League he has failed to score in the games against Roma (1-1) and Bayer Leverkusen (2-1).
Messi’s absence makes him more important. Plus, Neymar is already more than familiar with Europe’s top club competition. Last season, as Barça won the trophy, he scored 10 goals, finishing as the top scorer alongside Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
His final goal in that edition came in the final against Juventus in June. It helped clinch the second treble of Barcelona’s history. In Borisov on Tuesday night, 136 days later, he needs to get his engine revving again.