• Johnathan Wright

Would a Neymar and Messi Reunion Be For the Best?

Updated: Aug 5, 2021


  • Is a Messi and Neymar reunion set for next season? If so, where? PSG or Barcelona?

  • Would a reunion be best for the world-class superstars, or are they better off without each other?

 
What I want most is to play with Lionel Messi again. For sure we have to play together next year! - Neymar

Neymar mentioned that he wants to unite with Messi right after his vintage performance against Manchester United in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League leading his team to a 3-1 win.


Messi and Neymar have been nothing short of transfer drama. This summer Messi wanted to leave Barcelona for the first time in his career but was denied due to contractual issues. Neymar is always being rumored to leave PSG, and last winter, the transfer of him going back to Barcelona to reunite with Messi picked up steam. If the two players were ever to reunite, it always seemed as if that would mean Neymar was heading back to Barcelona, but could it actually be Messi to PSG and a Mbappe exit?


Messi has not had the best start to the season for somebody of his standards. It is hard to dismiss that it is from the fallout he had with Barcelona's leadership this summer. Messi will be a free agent at the end of the season, and it is unknown if he still wants to leave his childhood club. PSG is a club interested in the aging superstar, and we know they are willing to spend the money. Would this be best for Neymar and his chances to win another UEFA Champions League (UCL), or should he try to stay with his younger superstar teammate, Mbappe?


Neymar is entering his fourth season with PSG, and he played a total of four seasons with Barcelona. We will compare Neymar's performance at both teams and determine if reuniting with Messi is in his best interest. Due to PSG and Barcelona being in different leagues, the comparison will be of just UEFA Champions League statistics. Neymar played in 40 UCL games with Barcelona and won the 2014/2015 season tournament. He has played in 23 UCL games with PSG and lead them to their first UCL finals as a club, but lost to Bayern during the 2019-2020 season.

Examing Neymar's goal percentage and assist percentage from his UCL games across both clubs, he has an average point per match (PPM) production of 1.95 for PSG and 2.18 with Barcelona. Based on these statistics, Neymar performed better on the highest stage with Barcelona.


But what about the current level of his teammate Mbappe and potential teammate in Messi. Is the younger Mbappe performing better than the aging legend in the Champions League? We will examine the two based on the same statistics that were analyzed with Neymar.

The last three years of Champions League performances from Messi and Mbappe were analyzed. Messi had a higher average PPM of 2.09 compared to Mpabbe's 1.94, but in the latest 19/20 season, Mbappe had a better PPM than Messi.


Is the 33-year-old Argentian finally beginning to slow down? As special as a reunion would be of Neymar and Messi, it would be wisest for Neymar to stay with the up-and-coming 21-year-old proven star. Mbappe is still developing and will only continue to improve, while with the age of Messi, it seems like there are already the first signs of a decrease in performance.


Now, if Mbappe decides to leave for Real Madrid next season, then that changes things...



Notes:
Data was collected from Football Transfers, Rumours, Market Values, News and Statistics | Transfermarkt


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