Wonderkid. Superstar. GOAT nominee in the making?
Neymar has long been favoured on the football Stockmarket for good reason. His rise to stardom, controversial relationship with Barcelona and International reputation has meant he's been both a PB and Media winner for the last few years.
However, concerns that he'll never return to Barca spark fear across the index. The Brazilian has no-doubt been a class act at PSG. But the lack of champions league presence from PSG up to now, combined with a somewhat shallow reputation in comparison to the Catalan giants, rings alarm bells with every transfer window that passes.
Do not get us wrong. Neymar has been a sound trade to masses of investors in the last three years. Between 2016 and 2019, the rise in Neymar's value on Football Index was twice as lucrative as the equivalent investment in bitcoin. He's been a sound hold from every angle; on the pitch, in the papers and increasing value on the index. His lifestyle and playing style has complemented the index in most respects. Ex-Barca President this week has announced Neymar is better than Cristiano Ronaldo. A bold statement that certainly raises the question of how high the ceiling is for Neymar.
But he's now 28 years old, approaching (or in) the typical prime years of most football players. A couple of years back, the mentality on the index leaned more towards buying the cream of the crop. The dividend structure favoured the famous and the lack of investors, IPO hype and range of players listed meant wonderkids weren't a fraction of the value they are now.
Neymar is no longer offering an almost-certain rise in performance ability that he was in previous years. He's certainly no longer a wonderkid. Traders favour growth these days. They favour 'Potential'. That's the massive buzzword on the index, and the Top 200 shows it. Younger players dominate the index on the basis that they are likely to further improve. Raw talent converts to experience. Output increases. Media turns attention to the next star. Neymar is no longer that 'potential' superstar. He IS the superstar. One break-out season from Sancho sees the wonderkid over 60% more expensive than Neymar now.
Alas, every player rises and falls on the index. But the greater the bias towards younger players on the index, the harder the fall for players that are already performing at their peak. Long-serving GOAT nominees, Ronaldo and Messi, are the only players over 30 years old that are found in the Top 30. Only Lewandowski and Kroos can be added to this list amongst the Top 100. Dive further into the depths of the Top 200 and you'll see decreasing values in 29/30 year olds throughout this season; Eden Hazard down from £4.70 last may to £3.70 exactly one year on. Toni Kroos has dropped from £4.95 aged 29 to £3.37 aged 30. Gareth Bale down from £3.20 this time last year to £2.10 now. Of course there is more at play here than age. But it's hard to argue that age isn't playing a pivotal role on the index. Lewandowski is the top scorer in Europe, with ALL eyes on Bundesliga right now. He is dominating world football. Yet he sits at the same value as Calvin Stengs of AZ Alkmaar because he's 31 years old and Stengs is 21. Stengs has potential. The Index this season has shunned some big names down the pecking order in favour of the wonderkid counterpart. Check out our article on the wonderkid bias to learn more on our thoughts on that matter. Neymar isn't at that 30 year old milestone just yet, so we don't anticipate his value depleting like an older player yet. But to somebody switched on to the trends, a new investment planning for a three year hold poses the question:
Will Neymar be profitable hold over the next three years? Will he earn dividends, and not drop in value?
Neymar has produced season after season of exceptional performances. His stats speak volumes:
Games - 134
Goals - 70
Assists - 35
Games - 186
Goals - 105
Assists - 77
Games - 80
Goals - 69
Assists - 39
400 games. 244 goals. 151 assists. 0.98 goal involvements per match.
Ronaldo is at 836 games, 626 goals. 219 assists. 1.01 goal involvements per game.
Messi is at 718 games, 627 goals, 261 assists. 1.24 goal involvements per game.
Obviously, Neymar has only played half as many games as Ronaldo. And for those that argue for Ronaldo as the GOAT they'll also mention how he's played across 3 of the top 5 European leagues and won trophy xyz. We're not here to discuss Ronaldo or Messi as the GOAT. Neymar is not anywhere near that calibre or reputation yet. He'll have to only be halfway through his career, and improve his stats, to be in the running of leaving a legacy like Ronaldo or Messi.
But statistically speaking, Neymar has been one of the greatest attacking players to have played professional football.
When you look at some of the best forwards of the modern era, you'll struggle to find numbers as good as Neymar's.
Ronaldo Nazario - 451 matches, 0.81 goal involvements per game
Thierry Henry - 790 matches, 0.66 goal involvements per game
Wayne Rooney - 744 matches, 0.63 goal involvements per game
Sergio Aguero - 634 matches, 0.77 goal involvements per game
One of the primary issues in his stardom has been the overcasting shadow and longevity of Messi and Ronaldo. Three years ago, most would've expected Ronaldo to be seriously cutting his numbers back when he was 32 - particularly when he left for Juventus. It looked like the new era. Similarly. Messi is now 32, and plenty of traders think his best days are behind him. Just a glimpse at Messi's stats suggest he's still very much in his prime and won't be going anywhere for a few years yet.
So Neymar has never truly had the limelight. There's always been a player or two better than him. The longer Messi and Ronaldo continued, the more players emerged as another superstar winger. Salah's historic record-breaking season, Mbappé's world-cup winning teenage years. Now the rise of youngsters such as Haaland, Rashford, Sancho and Gnabry prove a threat in his global recognition as the 'best player in the world'.
Enough speculation. Right now, Neymar still offers outstanding PB and media. This season, he's won £1.21 per share in dividends. That's at PSG. Many traders often seem cautious when dealing with PSG, as the French league lacks competitive edge over the other Top 5 European league. That is nonsense-talk on the index though. The lack of French presence in Champions League historically doesn't mean PSG are a bad side. In fact, week-in week-out they dominate their domestic campaign, making it easier to win dividends. This season, the Top 3 PB winners have been Messi, Ilicic and Ronaldo. Then Neymar. In fact, it's a defender that leads PB dividends this season in the Premier League, Trent Alexander Arnold. Neymar is a dividend winner in the current PSG team. That team knocked out Dortmund in the Champions League. Neymar and co are a fantastic European side. PSG is a superclub, even if they've never been European Champions. Neymar is a PB winner, even if he never returns to Camp Nou.
Nobody knows what the future holds for Neymar. But he's statistically on track to be one of the greats. And PSG are on track to be a very tough European Competitor. Neymar is a PB dividend winner. The media also flocks to him - he's won £0.76 in media dividends this season. That won't disappear in a flash. He's far too big to be forgotten just yet.
This article isn't designed to lean you one way or another. We're just saying to not let the GOAT legacy haze your vision, or the PSG 'prison' cast a shadow over your view of Neymar as an investment. He's still currently one of the best proven dividend winners the index has to offer. And all signs indicate he's still got years left to further make his mark.