Why Do People Love Neymar?

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, known simply as Neymar, is one of the most popular and beloved football (soccer) players in the world. As a forward for Brazil’s national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar has gained millions of fans across the globe who admire his incredible talent and skill on the pitch.

Exceptional Talent and Skills

Neymar’s talents as a footballer stand out even amongst elite players. His combination of lightning-quick acceleration, precise dribbling abilities, playmaking vision, and scoring prowess has made him one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the modern game.

Dazzling Dribbling Skills

One of Neymar’s signature qualities is his dazzling dribbling ability. He keeps the ball seemingly glued to his feet as he weaves past opponents, often leaving them spinning in his wake. This allows him to create scoring opportunities for himself and teammates out of nothing.

Some key stats on Neymar’s dribbling:

Most dribbles completed at 2018 World Cup35
Career dribble success rate60%
Beat 83 Chilean players in one match with his dribblesYes

Clinical Finishing

While his dribbling opens up defenses, Neymar also possesses lethal precision in front of goal. He scores incredible varieties of goals from both inside and outside the penalty area.

His scoring rates and career goal totals rank among the best ever:

  • 122 goals in 217 games for Barcelona
  • 109 goals in 172 games (so far) for PSG
  • 74 goals in 117 caps for Brazil

Neymar’s shooting accuracy and composure under pressure often give him an edge over keepers.

Vision and Playmaking

On top of his direct goal threat, Neymar also creates chances and assists for his teammates. His passing skills, creativity, and spacial awareness let him function as an outstanding playmaker.

In his four seasons at Barcelona playing alongside Lionel Messi, Neymar racked up:

  • 59 assists
  • 7.2 key passes per game
  • 2.4 through balls per game

This ability to set up goals as well as score them himself makes Neymar a complete attacking weapon.

Joy and Passion for the Game

Another huge component of Neymar’s appeal is the sheer passion, joy, and enthusiasm he demonstrates while playing. The smile on his face when dribbling or celebrating a goal shows how much he loves football.

This contrasts with the more serious or dour demeanors of some elite footballers and resonates with fans who love seeing players as emotionally invested in the sport as they are.

Some demonstrations of Neymar’s passion:

  • Juggling the ball flip after scoring in Champions League final
  • Taking off his jersey to show name and birthday after World Cup goals
  • Saying scoring goals makes him “really, really happy”

Embracing the Spotlight’s Pressures

Neymar also embraces the immense pressures and expectations that come with being a global superstar. As Brazil’s biggest icon, he shouldered the weight of their disastrous 2014 World Cup and redeemed himself with outstanding performances afterwards.

He also stepped out of Lionel Messi’s shadow at Barcelona to become PSG’s main man right away. This ability to not shrink under pressure has earned admiration.

Never-Say-Die Attitude

Importantly for both club and country, Neymar plays with an unrelenting determination to win, even when the odds seem stacked against his team.

His two greatest comeback performances include:

  • Champions League 6-1 comeback vs. PSG when he scored 2 goals and assisted Sergi Roberto’s winner
  • Rallying Brazil from 0-1 down in the 2016 Olympics Gold Medal match by scoring the tying goal then the winning penalty

This embodied refusal to accept defeat resonates strongly with fans.

Charisma and Marketability

Off the pitch, Neymar possesses a level of charisma, flamboyance, and marketability that makes him one of football’s true A-list celebrities.

Outsized Personality

Neymar has an outsized, fun-loving personality that shows in his flashy playing style and lifestyle. His ever-changing hairstyles, tattoos, dress sense and parties project the image of a carefree superstar enjoying his fortune and fame.

This appeals hugely to young fans who see Neymar as the epitome of cool. It also attracts massive endorsement deals like:

  • Nike
  • Beats by Dre
  • Police sunglasses
  • Gillette
  • Red Bull
  • McDonald’s

Social Media Following

A massive part of Neymar’s popularity comes from being perhaps the most prominent footballer on social media. His friendships with stars like Messi, Justin Bieber, and LeBron James give fans glimpses into an A-list life.

Some of his major social media stats:

Instagram194 million
Facebook60 million likes
Twitter16 million

This allows Neymar to engage with supporters worldwide and carefully cultivate his brand.

Cultural Icon Status in Brazil

On top of his global appeal, Neymar retains a special iconic status within Brazil itself. As the heir to legends like Pele and Ronaldinho, the pressure and expectations on him to lead the national team are immense.

So far, he has delivered brilliantly in lifting Brazil to long-awaited glory:

  • 2013 Confederations Cup Golden Ball
  • 2016 Olympic Gold medal
  • 2021 Copa America trophy

Fulfilling his destiny as Brazil’s talisman cements his god-like status to fans back home.

Conclusion: A Unique Star Attracting New Generations to the Game

Neymar’s exceptional talents and achievements, joyful passion for play, charismatic persona, and embrace of celebrity have made him one of football’s most famous figures that transcends even the massive popularity of the sport itself.

In many ways, Neymar represents a new mold of footballer perfectly suited to today’s media-driven, social media-fueled era that values visibility, endorsements, and splashy moments as much as trophies themselves.

And crucially, Neymar’s accessibility and appeal to young fans brings new generations around the world into becoming football supporters themselves. This will have hugely positive impacts on the sport’s growth and economics in developing nations.

So for all these reasons, Neymar looks poised to reign as football’s most beloved superstar for years to come. The world can’t seem to get enough of Neymar – and that’s why so many people love him.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions related to why Neymar is so beloved globally:

Why is Neymar so popular even compared to Messi and Ronaldo?

While Messi and Ronaldo are undoubtedly greater historical talents than Neymar, he connects more directly with fans through social media and Carnaval-esque flair. Neymar embraces fame in a way more extroverted way that resonates strongly, especially with younger fans.

What are Neymar’s biggest on-pitch strengths and abilities?

Neymar’s two greatest skills are his close control dribbling, which enables him to slalom past defenders, and his clinical finishing ability with both feet and head despite his diminutive size. His passing vision and free kick taking are also world class.

Does Neymar deserve criticism for diving and theatrics?

Neymar has deservedly drawn criticism at times for reactions like playacting, diving excessively, and crowd incitement after goals. But he has seemingly cut down on those antics in recent years as he matures into more of team leader rather than rebel showman.

Why does Neymar seem to play better for Brazil than PSG?

The consensus is that Neymar performs better for Brazil in part because lacks an elite creative midfielder at PSG who understands his runs like his Seleção teammates do. Also, the freedom Tite grants him for Brazil inspires his best form.

What are some of Neymar’s biggest career accomplishments?

Major accomplishments so far include winning the Champions League and two La Liga titles with Barcelona, four Ligue 1 titles with PSG, the Copa Libertadores and Copa America with Brazil along with Gold at the Olympics and Confederations Cup.

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