In this post, I will be ranking Neymar’s best seasons based on individual, and club success. Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is considered one of the best players in the world. And for sure, he is one of the greatest Brazilian footballers of all time.
Neymar announced his football qualities during his days at Santos, with impressive performances plus winning several titles including the Copa Libertadores.
He joined Barcelona, forming the renowned attacking trio MSN with Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.
At Barcelona, Neymar won lots of trophies, including the UEFA Champions League, and In 2017, he sealed a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in a record-breaking €222 million deal.
However, In France, he achieved domestic success and reached the UEFA Champions League final. Neymar is also a key player for the Brazilian national team, having scored 77 goals in 124 matches, sharing the record for the most goals with Pelé. With that said;
Neymar’s Top 4 Best Seasons
- 2010-2011 season
- 2012-2013 season
- 2014-2015 season
- 2015-2016 season
Let’s dive in.
1. 2010-2011 season
In 2010, Neymar had a remarkable season with Santos, winning the Campeonato Paulista and emerging as one of Brazil’s brightest talents.
He proved his qualities and skills by scoring 14 goals in 19 games during the Campeonato Paulista, helping Santos clinch the championship. Neymar’s performances drew comparisons to Brazilian legends Robinho and Pelé.
Despite receiving lucrative offers from English clubs, including West Ham United and Chelsea, Neymar chose to remain focused on Santos, with his agent expressing his ambition to become the best player in the world.
However, Neymar’s early success was not without controversy. He faced criticism for diving instead of attempting to continue his run and questions were raised about his attitude.
During a match against Atlético Goianiense, a dispute with the manager led to Neymar displaying unprofessional behavior on the field. The incident resulted in the manager’s dismissal and raised doubts about Neymar’s maturity.
The following year, in 2011, Neymar continued to shine. He played a crucial role in Santos’ journey to the Copa Libertadores Finals, scoring six goals along the way.
In the final against Peñarol, Neymar opened the scoring in the second leg, helping Santos secure a 2-1 victory and claim their first Copa Libertadores title since 1963. Neymar’s exceptional performances earned him the Man of the Match award.
Following this, Neymar faced speculation of a potential move to Real Madrid, which led to a threat of reporting the club to FIFA by Santos’ president.
Then he signed a contract extension with Santos until after the 2014 World Cup, reportedly receiving increased wages comparable to top European clubs. In addition to his club’s success, Neymar also received individual recognition.
He won the FIFA Puskás Award for his solo goal against Flamengo and was named the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011.
Though Santos finished as runners-up in the FIFA Club World Cup, Neymar’s contributions throughout the season marked it as one of his best.
To be fair, 2010 and 2011 were pivotal years for Neymar, establishing him as a rising star in Brazilian football and earning him honors for his exceptional skills and goal-scoring ability.
2. 2012-2013 season
In 2012, Neymar continued to impress with his outstanding performances for Santos, cementing his status as one of South America’s best players.
He celebrated his 20th birthday by scoring his 100th professional goal against Palmeiras in the Campeonato Paulista. And throughout the year, Neymar showed his scoring prowess and playmaking abilities in various matches.
He scored two goals, including a stunning long-range strike, and provided two assists in a resounding 6-1 victory over Ponte Preta.
Neymar’s hat trick against Brazilian rivals Internacional in the Copa Libertadores Group stage match further highlighted his exceptional skills.
He continued to impress by scoring braces against Guaratinguetá and São Paulo and delivering impressive performances in the 2012 Campeonato Paulista Finals against Guarani, where he scored in both legs to help Santos secure the championship.
Neymar’s success extended to the Copa Libertadores, where he finished as the joint-top scorer with eight goals. However, Santos was eliminated by Corinthians in the semi-finals.
In the Brasileirão Série A, Neymar’s hat trick against Cruzeiro and his influential contributions throughout the season helped Santos secure a 4-0 victory. He ended the season scoring and assisting in a 3-1 win over Palmeiras.
Neymar got many honors for his exceptional performances, including the Best Player and Best Forward in the 2012 Campeonato Paulista, the Best Player of the 2012 Recopa Sudamericana, and the 2012 South American Footballer of the Year award for the second consecutive year.
In 2013, Neymar’s final season with Santos, he continued his remarkable form.
He started the Campeonato Paulista by scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over São Bernardo and added another goal against Botafogo in a 3-0 win. Neymar’s impressive performance against São Paulo included a goal and two assists in Santos’ 3-1 triumph.
Despite expressing his dream of playing for big European clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Chelsea, Neymar remained with Santos for the time being.
In a match against União Barbarense, Neymar netted all four goals in a comprehensive 4-0 victory, reminding us about his scoring prowess once again.
As his departure to Europe before the 2014 FIFA World Cup became more imminent, Neymar experienced an emotional farewell, shedding tears during the national anthem in his last match for Santos against Flamengo.
3. 2014-2015 season
The 2014-2015 season was undoubtedly one of Neymar’s best seasons, with great performances and honors. In September 2014, Neymar kicked off the season with a bang, scoring his first two goals in a 2-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao.
He kept his impressive form by scoring a hat-trick against Granada in a resounding 6-0 win and finding the net in his next three La Liga matches.
In January 2015, Neymar’s brilliance shone once again as he scored twice and provided two assists in a dominant 6-0 victory against Elche.
He continued to impress in the Copa del Rey, scoring his 20th goal of the season in a thrilling 3-2 quarter-final win over Atlético Madrid.
Neymar’s impact was felt in the semi-final as well, where he netted twice to secure Barcelona’s 37th Spanish Cup final appearance.
In the Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar showed his scoring skill, scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory. He maintained his form into May, scoring in the first leg of the semi-final against Bayern Munich.
In the second leg, Neymar once again found the back of the net twice, ensuring Barcelona’s qualification for the UEFA Champions League final.
His crucial header in a 2-0 league win against Real Sociedad also played a vital role in securing the league title for Barcelona. Barcelona’s success continued as they defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Copa del Rey final, with Neymar scoring the second goal.
However, his showboating during the match drew criticism from opponents. Nevertheless, Neymar’s performance didn’t stop there. In the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus, he scored the third goal in Barcelona’s 3-1 triumph, securing the club’s fifth European Cup.
This historic victory made Barcelona the first club ever to achieve the treble twice. Neymar joined an elite group of players by winning both the Copa Libertadores and the UEFA Champions League.
He also became the first player to score in final victories in both competitions. With a total of 39 goals across all competitions and 10 goals in the Champions League, he finished as the joint-highest scorer in the latter competition alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammate Lionel Messi.
This season proved the incredible chemistry among Barcelona’s attacking trio, known as “MSN,” who set a record with 122 goals, the highest tally for an attacking trio in Spanish football history.
4. 2015-2016 season
The 2015 season was another outstanding year for Neymar, despite a setback due to contracting mumps. Despite missing the 2015 UEFA Super Cup and the 2015 Supercopa de España, Neymar made an impact upon his return.
On 17 October, he reminded us about his immense talent by scoring an incredible four goals in Barcelona’s 5-2 victory against Rayo Vallecano in La Liga, bringing his goal tally to eight for the season.
Also, he played a crucial role in Barcelona’s 4-0 away victory against Real Madrid on 21 November. He not only found the back of the net but also provided a stunning back-heel assist for Andrés Iniesta.
With a consistent performance, Neymar scored twice in a 4-0 triumph over Real Sociedad on 28 November, moving his La Liga goal count to an impressive 14 goals in just 12 games.
His impressive performances didn’t go unnoticed, as Neymar was shortlisted for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But he finished in third place, his nomination was proof of his contributions in the season.
Then he went again in 2016 as Neymar scored a late goal in Barcelona’s 2-0 extra-time victory over Sevilla in the 2016 Copa del Rey Final.
This triumph secured the domestic double for Barcelona for the second consecutive season, following their historic treble-winning campaign the previous year.
I think Neymar’s partnership with Messi and Luis Suárez, famously known as the “MSN” trio is the best-attacking trio I have ever seen in football.
Together, they scored a staggering 131 goals, surpassing their record from the previous season for the most goals scored by an attacking trio in a single campaign.
1. 2014-2015 Season:
- Neymar started the season impressively, scoring two goals in a victory against Athletic Bilbao.
- He continued his exceptional form, including a hat-trick against Granada and goals in subsequent La Liga matches.
- In January 2015, he contributed two goals and two assists in a dominant win against Elche.
- Neymar played a crucial role in the Copa del Rey, scoring important goals in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
- He was instrumental in Barcelona’s Champions League campaign, scoring crucial goals in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
- Neymar scored the third goal in the UEFA Champions League final against Juventus, securing Barcelona’s fifth European Cup.
- This season marked Barcelona’s achievement of the treble twice, with Neymar becoming the first player to score in final victories in both the Copa Libertadores and the UEFA Champions League.
- He finished as the joint-highest scorer in the Champions League, with 39 goals across all competitions.
2. 2015-2016 Season:
- Despite missing some matches due to mumps, Neymar had a remarkable season.
- He made a strong comeback by scoring four goals in a single game against Rayo Vallecano.
- Neymar played a key role in Barcelona’s 4-0 away victory against Real Madrid, providing a stunning back-heel assist.
- He scored twice in a 4-0 win over Real Sociedad, taking his La Liga goal count to 14 goals in just 12 games.
- Neymar’s performances earned him a nomination for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, finishing in third place.
- He scored a late goal in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey final win over Sevilla, securing the domestic double for the second consecutive season.
- The partnership between Neymar, Messi, and Suárez, known as the “MSN” trio, broke their record for most goals scored by an attacking trio in a single season, with 131 goals.
3. 2012-2013 Season:
- Neymar continued to impress with outstanding performances for Santos.
- He reached a milestone by scoring his 100th professional goal on his 20th birthday.
- Neymar’s scoring prowess and playmaking abilities were on display in various matches.
- He finished as the joint-top scorer in the Copa Libertadores, helping Santos reach the semi-finals.
- Neymar contributed with hat tricks and influential performances in league matches.
- He received numerous individual accolades, including the South American Footballer of the Year for the second consecutive year.
4. 2010-2011 Season:
- Neymar had a remarkable season with Santos, showcasing his qualities and skills.
- He played a crucial role in winning the Campeonato Paulista, scoring 14 goals in 19 games.
- Neymar drew comparisons to Brazilian legends Robinho and Pelé.
- Despite controversies and criticisms, he continued to shine and led Santos to the Copa Libertadores title.
- Neymar’s exceptional performances earned him individual recognition, including the FIFA Puskás Award and the South American Footballer of the Year.