Neymar, the boy wonder originally from Santos, Brazil is currently applying his trade for one of the biggest clubs in the world, PSG. He currently is being paid a king’s ransom and is the face of the club has been described as someone who is bored and needs a new challenge. This is after being at the team for one full season and being underway through his second season and is essentially a slap in the face to both PSG and Ligue 1 football. Neymar believes that he needs PSG more than they need him but as we will explain shortly, this is in fact the opposite of the truth.
PSG are one of the most well-funded teams in the world, there is no getting around that fact. They were able to purchase both Neymar and Mbappe in a small space of time, each who cost more than $150 million. Make no mistake, this is more than some clubs would turn a profit in a 5-year period, let alone an amount being able to be spent on individual players. This demonstrates how much money PSG have at their disposal and while Neymar leaving would leave a hole in their team, it would create more money than need which could allow the team to purchase one or two star players to replace him. His shirt sales alone have covered his transfer fee and most of his wages thus negating a net loss on his short stint. Neymar can of course demand a contract that will be within the top 5% of all contracts in the world so in terms of money, both Neymar and PSG will not lose any ground.
Let’s assess both parties’ goals within a seasonal context. PSG aim to win Ligue 1 comfortably, win the Coupe de France (French Domestic Cup) and also win the UEFA Champions League. This matches with Neymar’s goals also, the only exception is that Neymar wants to dominate the individual honors, in particular winning the Ballon’dor and then trying to collect every individual accolades possible. For Neymar to achieve this, he has to have not only his team dominate, but he has to be the go to guy for said team. This is where he needs PSG more than they need him. As stated above, PSG have more money than needed so Neymar departing would create a hole in their team, it is one that can be filled to some extent. The problem for Neymar leaving is that there is not another team in the world currently competing for all these accolades where he is the stand out star. Yes PSG have Mbappe and other pieces but at the end of the day it is Neymar’s team. When thinking of PSG, the first player that comes to mind is Neymar rather than one of his teammates. The only team that could come to mind would be Real Madrid but are they currently in a place to compete for all these awards? Having just lost their manager, star and are having trouble off the pitch, is that really a team that will win it all currently? All other teams already have a formula or plan, which doesn’t include Neymar, and also, who else could really afford him? For not only his transfer fee but also his wages as well.
To project himself onto the level of Messi and Ronaldo, Neymar needs to start stuffing the stat sheet. He can do this in any league in Europe with his ability and potential but where else has he got a team where they have built around him for him to be the focal point. He would be adding to any existing team he transfers to but no other current team has the personal around him that have been specifically training and been molded around him. He needs this current PSG team around him to get to this level. Yes, Mbappe and Cavani may take some goals away from him but they also help with assists, pressure and also focus of the other team. PSG is the perfect team for Neymar to get to that next level on.
One major concern for Neymar is potentially being in the shadow of Mbappe in a way he was in Messi’s. This attitude is not one that will change and will become more or less an assessment of Neymar’s career. How many times can he transfer teams in his career without this following him? I’d say no more times at all. He needs to get out of his own head and realize how a player like Mbappe can assist him with achieving greatness by winning things with PSG and etching both their names in history as potentially one of the best partnership in history. This is the potential they both have but will Neymar accept that this is a team endeavor rather than individual? That is the question that remains.
If Neymar decides he is done with PSG, his career will have already reached its pinnacle and it will be downwards from here on out. He will constantly be known as the guy who ran away from anyone getting in his space and will bounce from team to team looking for the individual accolades but realizing that all of these awards go along with having a great team around him.