Is Barcelona centurion Neymar the next Ballon d’Or winner in waiting?

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Neymar wrote his name further into the Barcelona record books this weekend with his 100th goal for the Spanish giants.

The Brazil star brought up the landmark with a goal in the 4-1 thrashing of Granada – a game which also saw Luis Suarez add to his incredible Barcelona figures.

Neymar reached his Barça century in his 177th appearance for the club, meaning the 25-year-old took 11 matches less than Lionel Messi to hit triple figures.

“He has numbers [which show he is] a beast of a footballer,” Luis Enrique said after the match.

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Breaking down the figures further, 70 have come via Neymar’s right boot, 24 from his left boot and six from his head.

His knack of scoring in big games is particularly impressive. In fact, since joining the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013, he has scored in the finals of the Champions League, Copa del Rey (twice) and Spanish Super Cup.

Despite actually enduring a less prolific season in terms of goals in comparison to his own high standards, Neymar is still being tipped to win the next Ballon d’Or award.

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“I believe in this moment Neymar is better than Cristiano Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, he’s the best player in the world now, in 2017,” Italy and AC Milan Alessandro Costacurta said recently.

During the international break, we highlighted that Neymar comes out first in terms of the most completed dribbles in Europe’s top four leagues this season, while he is also among the players to have created the most chances.

However, the Samba star’s greatest claim for being the best player in the world came in the historic comeback against PSG in the Champions League.

With less than 10 minutes remaining and with Barcelona needing three goals, Neymar scored twice – an irresistible free-kick and a pressure-defying penalty – before keeping his cool once more to provide the impeccable assist for Sergi Roberto’s goal which completed the unthinkable.

Messi and Ronaldo may have ruled the Ballon d’Or for the last decade – but now there is a new sheriff in town.

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