Only four players have scored more UEFA Champions League goals in the past four seasons than Neymar, who should boost Paris Saint-Germain’s attempt to become one of Europe’s most successful clubs.
PSG have reached the quarterfinals of the competition in four of the last five seasons — including a defeat to Neymar-inspired Barcelona in the round of 16 in March — but have not advanced beyond that stage since 1995.
The 25-year-old, who was introduced at the Parc des Princes on Friday after his record transfer, should help. Twenty-one of the 105 goals he scored in his four seasons at Barcelona occurred in the Champions League, and of those, 11 were scored in the knockout stages.
He also has scored seven goals in six games against PSG in his career, including the stunning brace he had in the second leg of the round-of-16 Champions League tie in March.
In addition, Neymar scored 68 goals in La Liga, 15 in the Copa del Rey and one in the Spanish Super Cup.
He scored 20 goals last season — down considerably from the 31 he scored in 2015-16 and the 39 he scored in 2014-15 — to finish with his fewest since he had 15 goals in 2013-14.
Neymar joined Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form a formidable trio for Barcelona, who won 82 of the 105 games in which they were all in the starting lineup.
That group combined for 250 goals in the last three La Liga seasons, making them the only trio to score more than 200 goals during that span.
Neymar also compares favorably to Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the two most prolific scorers of their generation.
He scored 52 goals for Brazil before turning 25 on Feb. 5 — significantly more than the 30 that Messi scored for Argentina and the 22 that Ronaldo scored for Portugal at that stage in their careers.
By paying the €222 million ($263 million) transfer fee to trigger the buyout clause in Neymar’s contract with Barcelona, PSG have shattered the record for the most expensive transfer.
Neymar will earn a post-tax salary of around €30m ($35m) a year on a five-year contract.
That would push PSG’s total investment in the player, including pre-tax payments and the transfer fee, to nearly €450m ($530m).
Only 18 clubs have a greater valuation than that total investment, according to Forbes, none of which are in France outside of PSG.