Neymar was a star during his early days at Santos, but Flamengo’s Vinicius Junior is performing better in his native country than the man who now plays for PSG.
Real Madrid’s 17-year-old future signing has yet to nail down a regular starting spot with the team, however he has certainly taken his chances from the bench.
He has scored in each of the last three matches he has played and is being compared with the PSG talisman.
In 1,380 minutes of football at senior level this season he has scored eight goals, which is one more than Neymar did in his first 1,500 minutes as a professional with Santos.
The Carioca championship hasn’t been any match for the teenager thus far; he has scored four goals in that, as well as three in the Brazilian first division.
Not only have his goals and assists made a difference to the team’s fortunes, it’s also his energy which has revolutionised Flamengo midway through matches.
Two of his goals have been winning goals, whilst the other six have all seen Flamengo extend their already comfortable lead.
Despite his performances, there hasn’t yet been a single Flamengo coach who has seen enough from the teenager to give him a place in the starting lineup.
It’s unclear whether this is courtesy of a lack of trust or an unwillingness to pile too much pressure on the forward’s shoulders.
Neymar’s goals for Santos in his first 1,500 minutes at senior level were much more decisive, as the former Barcelona forward was essentially seen as the pillar of the team as soon as he broke into it.
His goals helped Santos come from behind in games, as well as giving them opportunities to win, and Neymar was given a much easier period to settle in, as he did so in the Sao Paulo state championship, which is less competitive than the Brazilian top flight.
When compared with Philippe Coutinho, for another example, Vinicius Junior emerges as even more favourable, with the Barcelona midfielder’s first 3,000 minutes at Vasco da Gama only producing five goals, none of which were decisive.
Gabriel Jesus is the most recent successful export from Brazil and is arguably Manchester City’s best forward at this moment and in his first 1,500 minutes with Palmeiras he scored seven goals, with all being winning goals.
Gabriel Jesus, though, was slightly more prepared that Vinicius Junior, as he spent six months as a substitute before he really made his mark.