He may be known in some circles for flopping more than spectacular play, but no one can deny that the Brazilian soccer star is one of the sport’s best players in the world. Along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar is one of the most recognizable names in soccer. But how good has he been as a goal scorer during his time with clubs and as part of the Brazilian national team?
Neymar’s soccer career
He first drew attention playing for Brazilian club Santos FC as a teen. At the age of 11, Neymar had joined the program and made his debut for the big team at 17. He won the Player of the Year Award four consecutive times. According to Biography.com, Neymar’s presence was felt quickly at FC Santos, making it clear he’d be a fan favorite early in his career:
[Neymar] emerged as a full-blown star in 2010, helping Santos claim the league and Copa do Brasil championships en route to the first of three straight scoring titles … That season he also made his debut for the senior national team and debuted a Mohawk-style haircut, which quickly became popular among younger fans.
During the 2013-14 season, he joined Spanish club FC Barcelona. This was a significant jump for Neymar as it was his first time playing for a European club. In 2017, he moved to French club Paris Saint-Germain. Here are his overall numbers from his time at Barcelona and Paris S-G:
- 164 appearances
- 152 starts
- 13,602 minutes
- 105 goals
- 58 assists
- 17 penalty kicks made out of 19 attempts
- Six appearances in his league’s top-10 goal scorers
In the 2019-20 season thus far, Neymar has three goals and 360 minutes played over four appearances.
Neymar’s time with the Brazilian national team
Neymar debuted for Brazil’s national team on August 10, 2010. During his time as a member, he’s made 99 appearances, scored 61 goals, and tallied 41 assists.
In two World Cup appearances, Neymar has played in 10 games, scored six goals, and recorded three assists. While he’s well known for his great play, he’s also known less positively for his theatrics. Some soccer fans believe Neymar overacts when he’s injured. At the 2018 World Cup, a Swiss TV station found that the star spent 14 minutes on the ground in the World Cup. According to CBS Sports:
Opponents tend to play a very physical game against Neymar, who sometimes ups the antics to compensate. Like any soccer player flopping, there’s some gamesmanship behind it. Mexico, for example, had been bullying Neymar all match, and he was likely trying to get someone ejected.
Whether Neymar’s flopping is seen as excessive or gamesmanship depends on your opinion of the player.
How many career goals does Neymar have?
When you tally all of his career goals accumulated during club play, Neymar has 229 career goals. Here’s the breakdown of who he’s scored them with:
- FC Barcelona: 105
- Santos FC: 70
- Paris S-G: 54
Neymar has scored 137 goals as a left-winger, 32 as a center forward, 13 as a second striker, and two while attacking mid-field. Still young, at only 27 years old, odds are Neymar will add a lot more to his total goals before he retires.