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The 30-year-old former Barcelona and Santos forward, who is Brazil's most nominated player in Ballon d'Or history , opened up about the prestigious individual prize in a candid interview last year.
“The Ballon d’Or is something that has always followed me during my career,” Neymar said via One Football. “Not for me, but because of the pressure I’ve been under since I started playing professionally.
"People always try to put on my resume the fact that I have to win the Ballon d’Or. So far, this has not happened, and it is not something that worries me."
He added: “I know my football, what I do for many years on the field, which is the most important. I don’t know what it takes to be on the podium, but it doesn’t matter to me.
“I want to be a champion with Paris Saint-Germain, with the Brazilian national team, that’s what’s important to me. Individual awards are nice, they are cool, of course, they are engraved on my shelf, but for me, it is not a goal.”
Despite being nominated for the individual prize on a number of occasions, Neymar has missed out to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – a fact former Liverpool defender Fabio Aurelio has recently analysed.
"I always say that I would be very disappointed if I was him," the Brazilian told GOAL. "The ambitions he has, and for the quality and talent he has, the fact that he has never won a Ballon d’Or feels wrong,
"He has all the conditions to do it, but I don’t know what has happened. Maybe some things are more important to him than the game, I don’t know? You see [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, they were there at the top level for 10 or 15 years.
"You never heard about problems away from the pitch, but Neymar is always involved in things like this. He needs to stay away from those things, because he is capable of amazing things.
"Maybe now, the age he is, if you don’t look after yourself, it can come back and haunt you. He is still Neymar, and capable of doing things that you don’t expect, but you see now he is not as fit as he used to be.
"He’s a top player, but he could do more."
Neymar has since fired back at Aurelio's comments in a number of Instagram story posts, including a screenshot from Wikipedia of his honours from spells at Santos, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team.
"I’m tired of these ex-players who are there and only open their mouths to talk s**t," he said. "A five minute interview and all he did was talk about other people’s lives.
"If you want to criticise, criticise. But talking s*** like that is not possible."
Neymar fires back at Fábio Aurélio, after he said in an interview that if he were Neymar, he would be disappointed with his “underachieving” career: “I'm tired of these former players talking shit . They have 5 minutes for an interview and don't mind their own business” https://t.co/nB2cIMk9jh— SportzGlobal01 (@SportzGlobal01) April 19, 2022
Fabio aurelio has rattled neymar 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/jH1EpyJYAQ— Rowan (@bobbyfirminola) April 18, 2022
Thoughts on Aurelio's comments?
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Neymar - Instagram
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