Who are Neymar's favourite opponents?

Neymar has already scored 30 goals in just 50 UEFA Champions League appearances. Who dreads meeting him most?

Neymar has been in superb goalscoring form with Paris
Neymar has been in superb goalscoring form with Paris ©AFP

At 26, Neymar is in his footballing prime at Paris; his matchday two hat-trick against Crvena zvezda took him to 30 goals in Europe's top club competition – matching Kaká's Brazilian record. One more goal and he will join Rivaldo as Brazil's all-time top scorer in UEFA club competition.

• Neymar failed to score in his first five #UCL games for Barcelona, but the dam burst on 11 December 2013 when the Brazilian scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 group stage defeat of Celtic at Camp Nou.

• That first hat-trick was scored inside 15 minutes, Neymar finding the net in the 44th, 48th and 58th minutes. He finally got his second #UCL hat-trick – and first for Paris – against Crvena zvezda in the 2018/19 competition, though it took him 62 minutes to hit three this time (20, 22, 81).

Five great Neymar goals
Five great Neymar goals

• Statistics suggest that Celtic and Crvena zvezda are his favourite opponents, though it is easy to see why Paris were so keen to sign him in summer 2017; he had scored seven goals against them in six games for Barcelona.

• Neymar has scored against 11 of the 19 sides he has met in Europe; to date, Roma have kept him at bay for the longest: 180 minutes without conceding.

• The Brazilian's scoring rate has improved significantly since he came to Paris. At Barcelona, he scored 21 goals in 40 #UCL games (3,408m of football in total), at an average rate of a goal every 162m17s. He has averaged just under a goal a game for Paris – nine in ten (over 892m) – finding the target every 99m7s.

• His overall goals-per-minute game is not quite up to the standard of Lionel Messi (a goal every 100m7s) or Cristiano Ronaldo (one every 112m52s).

Who has Neymar scored against in UEFA competition?

Opponents
by club
GamesMinutesGoalsMinutes
per goal
AC Milan2166--
Ajax42981298m
Anderlecht2180290m
APOEL190--
Arsenal21801180m
Atlético43601360m
BATE2180290m
Bayern4360490m
Celtic6518774m
Crvena zvezda182327m20s
Juventus32701270m
Leverkusen190--
Liverpool190--
Manchester City64461446m
Mönchengladbach190--
Napoli190--
Paris6540777m9s
Real Madrid       190--
Roma2180--
TOTAL50430030143m20s

• Neymar has taken on sides from 11 nations in the UEFA Champions League, and to date the only country that has a collective clean sheet against the Brazilian is Cyprus – though that only amounts to 90 minutes of Barcelona's 1-0 win against APOEL in the 2014/15 group stage.

• Cyprus aside, he has found goals easiest to come by against clubs from lower-ranked leagues, averaging a goal a game or better against teams from Belarus, Belgium, France, Scotland and Serbia.

• Teams from the four highest-ranked leagues may wonder what the fuss is about. To date, he has scored only once in five games against Spanish sides, and once in eight meetings with Serie A clubs. Two goals have come in nine meetings with Premier League sides, although Bundesliga sides have more reason to be cautious – Neymar averages a goal every 135m against German teams.

Which nations' clubs has Neymar scored against?

Opponents
by nationality
GamesMinutesGoalsMinutes
per goal
Belarus2180290m
Belgium2180290m
Cyprus190--
England97162358m
France6540777m9s
Germany65404135m
Italy87061706m
Netherlands42981298m
Scotland6518774m
Serbia182327m20s
Spain54501450m
TOTAL50430030143m20s

When Neymar has scored his UEFA Champions League goals

• The message for Neymar's opponents is don't drop off if he doesn't score in the first ten minutes; ten of his 30 goals in the UEFA Champions League have been scored between the 11th and 30th minutes of games.

Neymar celebrates Barcelona's 6-1 win against Paris
Neymar celebrates Barcelona's 6-1 win against Paris©AFP/Getty Images

• The Brazilian's other big scoring hotspot is the final minutes – plus added time: five goals between the 85th minute and the final whistle (two of those in Barcelona's 6-1 comeback win against Paris from 2017).

TimeGoals (penalties)
0-102
11-206
21-304 (1)
31-401
41-half-time3
FIRST HALF16
46-552
56-653
66-752
76-85

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Last updated: 29/10/18