Barcelona superstar Neymar has beaten off competition from the likes of Chelsea’s Willian and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho to win the prestigious Samba Gold award, as pictured above.
The Samba Gold award is an honour given to the best Brazilian player currently plying his trade in Europe over the past year, determined by journalists, fellow footballers and internet votes.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva has won for the previous three years, whereas the Blues duo Willian and Ramires have made the final stages in recent years.
Over the past year, however, Neymar was a clear winner as he picked up the award for the first time in his career after receiving a record number of votes, 29%, as per the Spanish publication Marca.
It has been some year for the 23-year-old and in some contrast to the previous campaign after experiencing a trophy-less and rather mediocre debut season at the Nou Camp.
So far this season, the former Santos idol has formed a fabulous strike partnership with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, scoring 17 La Liga goals and adding a further four assists in 20 starts.
His goal-scoring exploits have helped the Catalans topple Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, while a Champions League quarter-final clash with PSG and a Copa Del Rey final await.
With Neymar’s form for Barca also being replicated on the international scene with Dunga’s emerging Selecao, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him dominate the award for some time to come.