Saying that it was a relief to put the doubts over his ability behind him, Neymar – a 25-year-old striker with more than 280 career goals to his name – has spoken of his joy at finally proving his critics wrong.
Speaking after a world class performance helped his Barcelona side overcome a 4-0 first leg deficit to progress in the Champions League, the former Santos forward who has scored an average of 35 goals per season throughout his career admitted he feels proud to have hopefully silenced those who refer to him as a YouTube footballer.
“When people doubt you and doubt your abilities, it can be very difficult to remain confident and keep scoring at a level of a goal every 1.66 games. But thankfully, I’ve stayed strong ,” said the Brazilian international today, revealing that during one of his lower points this year he feared he would have to wait until the age of 26 to break the record for most assists in a Champions League season.
“Sometimes you have to dig deep and just do your best – as a player with 50 goals in 75 international games – to try as hard as possible to convince the doubters that you are a consistent player who can deliver when it matters,” added the first player in history to score in final victories of both the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.
Despite his relief, Neymar admitted that while he is pleased to have convinced many critics of his ability, he will not rest until he has proven himself to spotty 16-year-olds who only watch Spanish football through the medium of GIFs and 10 second videos.