Barcelona star Neymar proves he's double the player, compared to last season


The Brazilian scored his 30th goal of the season, as Barcelona cruised into the Champions League semi-finals.

Despite the controversy surrounding his transfer, Neymar is showing exactly why Barcelona went to such expense, when they pulled out all the stops to sign him from Santos.

The first season for the Brazilian was always likely to be difficult. Settling into a new country, a different culture, plus matching up the scrutiny and expectations, always present at the Camp Nou.

At the end of what was, quite frankly, a disappointing campaign by the standards of Barcelona, Neymar finished the 2013-14 season with 15 goals in 41 games. Not too shabby, but certainly less than hoped for, from such a highly rated player.

However, this season the quality of the performances and most importantly, the number of goals, has improved significantly. Forming part of the fearsome 'MSN' trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the 23-year-old has enjoyed superb form, in a team that is firing on all cylinders.

That was certainly evident at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, as Barcelona expertly finished the job of putting Paris Saint Germain to the sword.

A remarkable run from Andres Iniesta in the 15th, seemingly intent on taking on the whole PSG team amidst the cries of 'ole' from the crowd, skipping past several opponents, before slipping a perfect through ball into the path of Neymar. The Brazilian still had to make the finish though, and he did that expertly, rounding the keeper to slot in his 29th goal of the season.

Goal number 30 came in the 34th minute. PSG had no answer for a rare, but superbly weighted cross from Dani Alves with his weaker left foot. Neymar magnificently timing his run, leap and header, into the back of the net.

A significant achievement for Neymar, doubling his personal tally of goals achieved last season in all competitions, in what's proving to be a spectacular 2014-15 campaign.

His continued contribution will be a key ingredient towards Barcelona finishing the season with silverware, as they aim for a remarkable treble of trophies, in La Liga, Copa del Rey and of course, the Champions League, where they're just one step away from the final now.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch