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Neymar at 30: How he compares to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

:Headline: Neymar at 30: How he compares to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo:
To celebrate Neymar's 30th birthday, Sports Mole takes a look at how the Paris Saint-Germain man compares to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age.
Sports Mole

Paris Saint-Germain attacker Neymar celebrates his 30th birthday today, giving us the perfect opportunity to look back at the silky Selecao star's career thus far.

It only seemed like yesterday that the fresh-faced attacker was making the step-up to the big leagues, signing for Barcelona from Santos at the age of 21 before becoming the world's most expensive player four years later.

Neymar will be celebrating his 30th birthday from the treatment room as he continues to recover from the ankle injury that has rendered him unavailable for the past few months, but the Brazil international continues to stake his claim as the best of the rest.

With his eye-catching taste for flair, his ever-impressive ambidexterity and the occasional theatrics here and there, Neymar is far from finished on the football pitch, but how does he compare to arguably the two greatest players to ever step foot onto the field?

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at Neymar's statistics and compares his achievements to that of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at 30 - the former of whom is coincidentally celebrating his 37th birthday as well.


A renowned goalscorer ever since his earliest days with Santos in the Brazilian top flight, Neymar hits 30 with an impressive tally of 265 goals to his name in official club matches - 105 for Barcelona, 90 for PSG and 70 for boyhood club Santos.

Neymar already has 116 Brazil caps to his name on his 30th birthday, during which time he has amassed 70 strikes in Selecao colours, taking his total haul of career goals to 335 in 566 matches for club and country.

Meanwhile, Messi already had a staggering 518 club goals when he celebrated his 30th birthday - 507 of which were scored for Barcelona's first team - and some fleeting efforts during official games for the B and C teams.

However, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner finds himself behind in the international goalscoring category, as he boasted 58 goals for Argentina by the age of 30, taking 118 games to hit that mark.

As for Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar comes in at second place in this category, reaching his 30th birthday with 413 goals in his club career, including 118 for Manchester United and 289 goals in 277 games for Real Madrid.

The ex-Juventus man bows to Messi and Neymar's international record in their teens and 20s, though, with Ronaldo posting 52 Portugal goals before his 30th birthday, but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner and Messi are head and shoulders above Neymar when it comes to making the net ripple.


The silverware keeps on stacking up for Neymar since his first taste of success in the 2010 Copa do Brasil - proceeding to win a Recopa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores crown with Santos before making the move to Europe.

A haul of two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, one Champions League, one Spanish Super Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup would follow for Neymar at Barcelona, before he added to his collection at PSG with a trio of Ligue 1 titles, Coupe de France and French Super Cup crowns, as well as two Coupe de la Ligues for good measure.

Having also won the Confederations Cup with Brazil in 2013, Neymar hits 30 with 24 major honours to his name, but rather appropriately, Messi already had 30 team medals by the age of 30.

The PSG man had to wait until 2021 to win his first piece of silverware with Argentina in the Copa America, but his 30 championships included eight La Liga titles, seven Spanish Super Cups, five Copa del Reys, four Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups and three Club World Cups.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo has to accept third place in the team silverware category, with the Man United man hitting 30 having won 18 major trophies in his career since collecting his first in the 2002 Portuguese Super Cup with Sporting Lisbon.

Ten trophies presented themselves to Ronaldo during his first stint at Man United - including the Champions League and three Premier League titles - before his switch to Real Madrid, who fell to Barcelona's superiority on several occasions before 2015.


The coveted Ballon d'Or still eludes Neymar, whose best finish in voting was third in the 2015 and 2017 editions behind Ronaldo and Messi, who had already established themselves as the only two realistic contenders for the accolade each year.

Neymar's individual highlights so far include the 2011 Puskas Award for his incredibly skilful goal against Flamengo - not even Messi has won that honour - although Ronaldo did collect it in 2009.

In addition, the PSG man has been named in the FIFA FIFPro World11 and the UEFA Team of the Year on two occasions, as well as making three Champions League Squads of the Season and sharing the 2014-15 Golden Boot in the tournament with Ronaldo and Messi.

However, Neymar's individual achievements are dwarfed by that of his two fellow superstars, as Messi already had five Ballon d'Ors to his name by the age of 30 and has collected two more since.

The ex-Barcelona man had also won the Best Player in Europe three times by that point, as well as the Golden Ball for the 2014 World Cup, six La Liga Player of the Season awards and countless Team of the Season/Tournament appearances.

Ronaldo's personal brilliance was also incredibly well-documented by the time that he reached 30, as the Portuguese superstar won his third Ballon d'Or at the age of 29 for his 2014 exploits, as well as collecting his first Best Player in Europe award that same year.

The now 37-year-old collected the 2009 Puskas Award for his scorching long-range effort against Porto and also won six Portuguese Player of the Year awards before 2015, so Neymar has some serious catching-up to do if he is to close the gap on Messi and Ronaldo during his golden years.

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