Neymar Da Silva Jnr, the Brazilian superstar forward, who plays for French Ligue 1 giant Paris Saint Germain has been in the news with each day reminiscing over his period at FC Barcelona amidst a transfer back to Catalunya.
When he was signed from Brazilian soccer giant Santos FC by Fc Barcelona in the summer transfer window ahead of the 2013/2014 season, he was seen as the heir to the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on global football as the world’s two best players. Messi was an influence to him and in the four years they played together alongside fellow South American and Uruguayan star forward, Luis Suarez, they formed the most feared trio in the history of soccer with an average of 100 goals scored between them each season for the period they played together.
Messi mentored Neymar and helped him to become the world’s third best footballer while he was at FC Barcelona. His brand value grew immensely resulting in commercial deals from brands in Brazil and across the globe.
Then, the Arab Sheikhs who own PSG (Paris Saint Germain) came calling. Neymar felt he had learnt enough from Messi and was tired of playing under his shadows. He needed a new challenge where he was going to become his own man. FC Barcelona made a historic comeback in the 2016/2017 Champions League match against PSG who led the first leg 4-0 at home in Paris to win 6-1 at the return match in Camp Nou; Barcelona with Neymar scoring twice to steal the show as the man of the match.
At the end of the day, Catalan media celebrated Messi and he felt that was enough of being second fiddle. A world record transfer of $222million (200million euros) from PSG was done and Neymar was set to begin another step in his career trajectory. But little did he know that his journey would be filled with thorns. Injuries over the past two seasons, not making the nominees for the 2018 Ballon D’Or, disciplinary issues made Neymar Jnr regret his move as French soccer prodigy Kylian Mbappe has overshadowed him in contributions on the field of play.
While Neymar awaits a return back to where he calls his second home beyond Brazil, it is pertinent as you make decisions regarding your career trajectory, consider where you are happy and in love with your job ahead of following the money and living a life filled with regrets later. There is also a need to ensure you have the support of people that can make you better.