- Photos by Getty
- Neymar cost Paris Saint-Germain $250 million in 2017 but has been a massive waste of money.
- The amount Paris has spent on his wages in the two years since means each goal or assist the forward has contributed has cost more than $1 million.
- When compared to his peers, this is terrible value for money.
- Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mohamed Salah have contributed more to their respective teams, while also costing less.
- Read more of our soccer stories here.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Neymar became the most expensive soccer player in history when he joined Paris Saint Germain in the summer of 2017. He was supposed to be the club’s superstar player, but instead he’s been a massive waste of money.
The French giant paid $250 million for the Brazilian, who signed a five year, $784,000-per-week contract, becoming the world’s second highest paid player behind Carlos Tevez.
Since the move, the 27-year-old has scored 51 goals in 58 games, won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award, and helped PSG to consecutive Ligue 1 titles.
It may seem a decent return on the pricey Paulistano investment on paper, but the player has been absent, ineffective, and extremely expensive.
PSG has not gotten value for money out of Neymar
Neymar’s 71 goals and assists in Ligue 1 and the Champions League over the past two seasons put him amongst the top ten contributors in Europe’s top five leagues.
But the cost of those contributions against his weekly salary makes Neymar’s efforts seem meek, especially in comparison to his peers from other leagues like Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus, and Mohamed Salah at Liverpool FC.
- Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Neymar’s exorbitant salary means he has cost PSG $1.15 million for every goal or assist this season. To put this in perspective, Ronaldo totalled 86 goals or assists in the same period, averaging a cost of $927,000 per contribution with Real Madrid, then Juventus.
Barcelona forward Messi was the most effective forward in Europe over the last two campaigns, managing 110 goals/assists at a cost of $595,000 each – but Liverpool’s Mo Salah proved the best value for money.
The Egyptian scored 69 goals and provided 29 assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side, but given his comparatively small wage packet, each one cost Liverpool $199,000 – almost a sixth of what each contribution from Neymar cost PSG.
The Brazilian’s strikes also counted for little
Neymar also had minimal impact on PSG’s final standing in Ligue 1.
Neymar’s contributions in Ligue 1 earned PSG just nine points in each of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 campaigns. What this means is simple. Even without Neymar, the Parisians would still have won the league title in both seasons.
While not on the chart below, his contributions in Champions League games also made no difference – take them away, and PSG still go out at the Round of 16 in both years.
Again, compare that to Ronaldo, Messi and Salah, and it shows how horribly ineffective Neymar has been.
- Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Ronaldo managed to secure 39 league points for Madrid and Juventus. Without his offerings, both sides would have slipped significantly down their respective tables – Juventus to second, and Madrid to seventh.
The Portuguese also had a big impact in the Champions League, with his exploits proving pivotal in Madrid winning the trophy in the 2017-2018 season, and his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid for Juventus last season helping carry the Italians to the quarterfinals.
Salah provided an equally impressive contribution for Liverpool. Without him, they would have finished seventh in the Premier League rather than second in the 2017-2018 campaign. And, rather than winning the Champions League last season, Liverpool would have been eliminated in the group stages.
Finally, without Lionel Messi’s impressive points contribution of 53, Barcelona would have finished fourth and fifth in La Liga rather than winning back-to-back titles, and in Europe, while the Catalans failed to win anything, they would have suffered a lot worse without the Argentine’s help, going out one, and then two rounds earlier.
Ronaldo, Messi and Salah have been essential to the successes their respective teams enjoyed. Neymar, for all the money he has cost, has been irrelevant.
It pays to be injured …
PSG has played 92 competitive games in the French league and in Europe over the past two seasons. Neymar has missed 42 of them.
He missed 38 matches through injury. The Brazilian has suffered a number of serious knocks since joining PSG, including a broken metatarsal, adductor problems, and another foot injury last season.
PSG has spent $29.8 million on his wages while he’s been injured. Though this may have been paid through an insurer, it could have bumped up the club’s premium regardless.
Add in the four games he’s been suspended for, and the figure increases to $32.9 million.
- Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
Ronaldo has also earned $14.35 million whilst injured, however that is still less than half of what PSG paid Neymar. Messi has earned $5.5 million on the sidelines, while Salah has taken home only $564,000 – proving again he is the best value for money forward in Europe.
The end is not in sight however
PSG sporting director Leonardo admitted his desire for Neymar to leave the club earlier this summer.
“Neymar can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone,” he told Le Parisian.
He added: “PSG wants to rely on players who want to stay and build something big. We do not need players who would do a favour at the club by staying here.”
The club’s president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has also hinted at his desire for the Brazilian to move on, saying: “I want players willing to give everything to defend the honour of the jersey and join the club project.
“Those who do not want to, or do not understand, we see each other and talk about it.”
One thing remains in the way of Neymar leaving PSG however, that nobody is willing to pay for him.
Former club Barcelona and its Spanish rival Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a move for the 27-year-old over the summer, but with PSG unwilling to budge on it’s $200 million asking price, neither are ready to pay club record fees for an injury prone and out-of-form player.
If past form and injury record is anything to go by, Neymar will end up costing PSG so much more.