Looks like hes going to be out for the next three months.
It's pretty funny really, by getting injured, he missed the opportunity to play any high tier football this year, which is what we've been waiting to judge him on. He'll probably be back for the world cup, which is piss poor level football these days
Either way, I'm pretty much settled on him regardless of who he faces now. The more I watch, the more I realize, everything stays the same. Yeah, he develops and incorporates new things into his playstyle, but the foundation of it remains the same. He has decent ingenuity, and great flair and "magic". Hes capable of playing beautiful football, and every now and then pulling off some magical play on the ball. But he lacks killer instinct and plays too much with his ego. These have always been his biggest flaws, and they've barely changed.
I kept thinking watching him in Barca, how much time does this guy actually need on the ball to do something? How long does he have to dribble with the ball to score? He'd be dribbling outside the box, cut in, dribble, dribble some more, some more, and then maybe do something. I'd always be thinking, jesus, this guy has no killer instinct. If that was Messi on the ball, it'd be a goal. He fails to recognize or create a chance on the ball for himself repeatedly. Messi, on the other hand, can have the ball around the box for 2-3 seconds, and it's a goal, the first opportunity you give him, he doesn't even need an opportunity, he'll make one. Neymar just doesn't have that killer instinct like Messi, it's completely lacking from his game. He relies on gaining space with speed, but when he has to solve problems without it, he has to fall back on his team-mates, or trickery. While this isn't a bad thing per se, as most players can't do it, it just shows the difference between a true killer and someone who isn't. Whereas Messi would have recognized that chance and turned it into a goal, Neymar will essentially move the chance, to a more prolonged, less dangerous attack. He just can't take it himself like others can.
The thing is though, I wouldn't fault him for that if he didn't try to take it on himself, repeatedly. Thats one of his major problems. Hes a winger, he likes to pick up the ball and move it from far back on the wing, and hes really good at it. Hes at his best when hes on the wing, he has more of the pitch to work with and he can exploit his speed. His trickery is much better on the wing too, this is really where he is good at it. He can create very well as a winger. So let's say I'd call him as a player there. Wow, a fast winger whos has amazing dribbling and trickery, great ingenuity and football magic, and he can pass at a world class level with amazing vision to back it up? If it ended just there, holy shit, that is a fucking amazing player.
But it doesn't end there, he wants to be the SS too, he wants to be the goal scorer. And while he can do it, a lot of it comes down to him needing these specific situations to be met, and when they aren't met, he either kills the play or takes the intensity out of it.
It's this need to be the main man, his ego that really hurts the team. Hes good enough to be the main man, but it goes beyond that, you can still be the main man, the most important player on the team, without ignoring your team-mates repeatedly, without needless killing plays, without having to score every goal. But that isn't enough for him, he just has moments where his ego just completely takes over. He really is a double-edged sword, you put him on and let him produce his magic, and he'll do it, but it comes at a cost, a great cost even. And that cos can definitely be decisive against the team. Over and over again at barca I'd see Neymar with the ball, doing things that we're unessacary, taking time away from messi, hurting the team overall. But when he eventually does something, it's all forgotten. In fact, I wouldn't say it's forgotten, I'd say most people don't even see it. Just think about that for a second, how many times have we seen Messi vs top-tier competition, in the league, in the ucl, in the semis, in the finals, single-handedly decide a game from out of nothing? Just a few touches of the ball, and it's over. Hes done it over, and over and over again. If you think about that fact, and that Neymars very seldomly does it, and spends a massive amount of time on the ball, thus taking away from the guy whos actually repeatedly decisive. It's fucking crazy really.
I'll say, hes already a world class player, but a very frustrating one at that. And because of his ego getting in the way and hurting the team, it makes him a much less reliable player vs real compeition, as hes actively taking chances away from the actual killers in the team, and thats a very bad thing. But like I said, it's a double-edged sword, because it can go the other way too. I'm just not convinced it's worth it in a team with top tier talent, vs real competition.
He can work up his vision, to the next level, and he'll be a fucking insane player. But those key problems will always remain, and truly stop him from being what he could potentially be. Just imagine the type of player he could be if he reigned in his ego. His problems with killer instinct wouldn't matter, as his strengths are fucking insane for a winger, he could be one of the best wingers of all time with that skill set and vision. But, I feel it's quite unlikely at this stage hes magically going to change the fundamentals of his game. His move to france really reflects his exact problems on the pitch. Still, hes an absolutely excellent player nonethless, and he'll most likely win at least one Balon-dor. Can't help but just feel frustrated when I watch him though, and dissapointed at what he could be, regardless of how good he is, he could be that much greater.