Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. are currently playing together in League-1 club Paris Saint-Germans. Previously, both played under Barcelona. Fans have always been obsessed with comparing their performances in the league and national stage.
Fans and enthusiasts consider Messi a G.O.A.T, alongside his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Conversely, fans have always seen the Brazilian star as a hair of the title. Unfortunately, his name has dimmed due to constant injuries and poor form in recent seasons. But the player has always been a hot topic on the national scene.
The article compares Neymar and Messi’s World Cup records to determine the better player.
World Cup Participation Count:
Messi made his World Cup debut in 2006. Since then, he hasn’t missed a single iteration of the tournament. World Cup 2022 in Qatar will be his 5th appearance in the event. Despite retiring from the national team in 2016, he returned due to popular demand.
Neymar’s World Cup debut was in 2014. Even though he could play in 2010, management rejected him. The then Brazil manager considered him too young and inexperienced. The FIFA 2022 Qatar will be his 3rd World Cup appearance. Sadly, the Brazilian great has stated his desire to retire from international football after this.
Several Matches Played:
The Argentine legend Messi has participated in 19 games throughout 4 World Cups. Within these, the coach subbed him twice. On the other hand, Neymar completely started in the 10 matches of his World Cup career.
Messi starred in 3 games of the 2006 World Cup. That year Argentina reached the quarterfinals. In the Following tournament, he helped Argentina reach the quarterfinals again, starring in all 5 matches. Unfortunately, they lost to Germany in 2010. In 2014, he participated in all 7 matches till the final. That year they again lost to the Germans. He partook in all four matches till the round of 16 in the 2018 World Cup.
In Neymar’s debut year, Brazil made it to the semifinals. There, he faced a back injury. As so, he couldn’t participate in the 6th match of their 2014 run. In the 2018 World Cup, he played in all five matches for Brazil’s national team. That year, both fans and critics criticized his overblown injury reactions.
Neymar vs Messi: Goal and Assist Count in World Cups
In his 19 appearances, Messi scored a total of 6 goals. Whereas Neymar also scored 6 goals but from 10 matches. On the international stage, Neymar is regarded as a superior player to Messi in terms of goal count and aggressive play.
Messi, on the other hand, has better playmaking and defense-breaking abilities. He assisted on 6 goals in 19 matches, and Neymar made 3 assists in 10 matches. The Argentine is ranked 2nd in World Cup assist count, only falling behind Pele (10 assists).
Messi and Neymar are both great on their own respective. However, Messi is regarded as a team player and playmaker, whereas Neymar is known for his aggression. As a result, based on their goal and assist contributions, Neymar comes out on top. Also, some fans often state that had they both served simultaneously, Neymar would have been the more prominent figure on South America’s international stage. Now the only question is, who will be the one to get his first trophy in their final World Cup.