Neymar: the top 5 greatest goals of his career – so far

As part of our series looking at star players’ greatest career goals, here are five of the best from PSG forward, Neymar.

Until recent years, most fans and pundits considered Neymar one of the most naturally gifted footballers of this generation.

And many still do; his dribbling is almost unparalleled, his passing range is wonderful, plus he can score whenever he wants. However, the Brazilian’s recent stint at PSG has somewhat dampened some people’s views of him.

Nevertheless, Neymar is a supremely talented footballer who has won some of the biggest trophies about. He is also an all-time great for Brazil, having been his country’s talisman for years now.

In addition, with over 400 career goals to his name, Neymar has a stunning array of greatest strikes. Here are our top five:

#5: vs Celta Vigo, 2016/17 La Liga

Kicking off our list of the Brazilian maestro’s best efforts is a delightful lob. Here, two of Barcelona’s MSN front three combined as Lionel Messi played in Neymar to score a ridiculous chip.

Messi’s pass split two defenders, leaving Neymar with just the keeper to beat. Instead of a regular slotted finish past the goalie, though, the Brazilian decided to try something different.

Without taking a touch, Neymar clipped the ball over Celta keeper Sergio Alvarez, where it gently landed in the back of the net.

But that’s not all. Upon closer inspection, the Barca star’s lob had side spin as well as backspin on it; he had managed to curl the ball home, whilst also lofting it over his opponent.

It is certainly one that Messi would have been proud of, plus starts our top five greatest goals from Neymar off with aplomb.

In the context of the match, the winger’s effort doubled Barcelona’s lead as they went on to thrash their opponents 5-0.

#4: vs Internacional, 2012 Copa Libertadores

Neymar was truly electric whilst at Santos, regularly scoring incredible goals – with this one from 2012 among his greatest.

Picking the ball up deep in his own half, Neymar drove at the Internacional defence. Thanks to his pace he left two opponents quickly in his dust. Then he took on another with a drop of the shoulder and a silky stepover.

As Neymar reached the Internacional box, his tight control and balance allowed him to beat another defender.

Finally, he used his quick thinking and composure to just lift the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the net.

This awesome solo effort was one of three goals that the Santos star scored during a superb hat-trick. He helped his side to a 3-1 win over their Brazilian counterparts in this group stage match-up.

Neymar at Santos really could flip a game on its head via his devastating dribbling and goals. It is, therefore, no wonder that Barcelona eventually bought the young star in 2013.

#3: vs Japan, 2013 Confederations Cup

Neymar lit up the 2013 Confederations Cup, a World Cup warm-up tournament held in his homeland before the 2014 showpiece. During a game against Japan, the Brazilian scored an absolute belter.

A pinged Marcelo pass found Fred (the striker, not the Man United midfielder), who chested the ball into the path of Neymar. Brazil’s No.10 showed not even the slightest hesitation as he unleashed a spectacular half-volley.

Cutting across the ball to provide just a hint of backspin, Neymar’s shot sliced through the air to find the top-right corner. The keeper had no chance.

One of the greatest goals that Neymar ever scored for the Selecao also provided lift-off for the whole tournament. It was the first goal at the 2013 Confederations Cup, with Brazil going on to beat Japan 3-0.

#2: vs Villarreal, 2015/16 La Liga

Just missing out on our top spot is an ingenious goal from Neymar’s days at Barcelona. The Brazilian dazzled football fans around the world with a sublime piece of skill in the 2015/16 season.

A bouncing cross from Luis Suarez found his Barca teammate in the box. Knowing a defender was behind him, Neymar quickly controlled the ball with his torso before delving into his box of tricks.

The star came up with a “sombrero flick”. That is, he flicked the ball up over his and the defender’s head, then twirled around to meet the ball before it hit the floor.

Of course, after completing such an insane skill, Neymar had to score. And the Barca forward duly obliged, drilling the ball home on the volley under Alphonse Areola.

Camp Nou had been treated to one of the greatest, most unique goals that Neymar will ever score in his career.

This finish sealed a 3-0 win for the Catalan giants, which helped restore Barca to the top of the La Liga table – the same position where they would end their season to claim back-to-back titles.

#1: vs Flamengo, 2011 Brasileiro Serie A

Last but not least, completing our list of the greatest goals that Neymar has ever scored is a FIFA Puskas award winner.

The Brazilian picked up the accolade for his simply amazing goal against Flamengo in 2011.

Neymar started his dance toward goal with a clean drag-back which beat to defenders on the touchline. Then, as he drove inside, the forward played a one-two with a teammate before dribbling toward the box.

When he reached the penalty area, the Santos star produced a deft ball roll with his right foot, after which he flicked the ball round another opponent via his left.

With just the keeper to beat, Neymar coolly slotted the ball home despite pressure from a sliding defender.

This outrageous goal showed the world exactly the type of player Neymar could be. He was skilful, agile, lighting fast, composed – and could score whenever he wanted.

Unfortunately, though, one of his greatest goals turned out to be in vain; Neymar and his Santos side lost 5-4 on the day.

And who came through to be Flamengo’s hero with a hat-trick? None other than Neymar’s predecessor as Brazil’s No.10, Ronaldinho.

Featured image credit: Getty