Messi & Ronaldo way ahead of PSG new boy Neymar in Ballon d'Or race

As he leaves Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain, we look at how Neymar compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo while at Barcelona.

Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo   -  Getty Images

Neymar's time in La Liga has come to an end after he completed a world-record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international made the move to Ligue 1 after PSG paid his eye-watering release clause of €222million to bring him to the Parc des Princes.

Much of Neymar's motivation to leave Camp Nou reportedly stems from a desire to step out from the shadow of Lionel Messi and make his own push to win the Ballon d'Or.

That honour has been claimed by ex-Barca team-mate Messi and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for each of the past nine years, while the latter won the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player award for 2016.

So, with Neymar blazing his own trail in the French capital in a bid to end their dominance, we look at the Opta stats to see how his four seasons in Spain stack up with Messi and Ronaldo's performances in all competitions over the same period.


105 - Neymar's goal tally for Barcelona, by stark comparison Messi has scored 194 in the same timeframe and Ronaldo has found the net 205 times.

39 - He netted 39 times in his best season with Barca as they won the treble in 2014-15. That number still saw him fall some way short of the standard set by Messi and Ronaldo, though. Messi had 58 goals to his name while Ronaldo registered 61.

20 - Neymar scored just 20 goals in all competitions last season. Messi, meanwhile, hit home 54 times and Ronaldo was on target on 42 occasions to help Madrid to a LaLiga and Champions League double.

21 - The Brazilian did, however, top Messi and Ronaldo for assists in 2016-17. His 21 assists superior to the 16 produced by Messi and the 11 laid on by Ronaldo.

59 - But Neymar's assist tally of 59 in four seasons was below that of Messi (77) and Ronaldo (61).

741 - Neymar's number of dribbles completed was significantly more than that of Ronaldo (281) but still pales in comparison to Messi (880).

288 - In his first two seasons at Barca Neymar created 288 chances. In the same period Messi created 238 and Ronaldo just 168.

138 - However, in his last two campaigns, Neymar has created just 138 chances, still more than Ronaldo (131) but he was comfortably surpassed by Messi, who created 227.

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