Neymar has developed a knack for partying during his soccer career, an activity that many believe has impacted his career. On several occasions throughout his career, Neymar has hosted or attended parties at inopportune times. For example, the Brazilian has missed matches that coincide with his sister’s birthday, March 11. That coincides with the week of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. According to reports, Neymar has been seen dancing on crutches while in attendance despite nursing injuries.

Now, his manager at Al-Hilal has spoken about Neymar’s proclivity for activity. While the star deals with a grave knee injury that has him out for months, he is not playing. Regardless, Jorge Jesus has compared the relative lack of effort of Neymar to the immense effort of Cristiano Ronaldo. That is one of Al-Hilal’s principal rivals in the Saudi Pro League.

“Neymar is the opposite of Ronaldo,” Jorge Jesus said. “Ronaldo has more passion for football and he makes it his priority, Neymar has more passion for other things linked to his private life, which he puts first.”

Certainly, Cristiano Ronaldo has been the epitome of putting in effort to be as physically available as he can. That has led to unparalleled results for the Portuguese, including Ballon d’Or wins and five Champions League victories. Neymar looked like the heir apparent to Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Yet, constant criticism blamed partying on Neymar’s inability to reach those heights. While he did win the Champions League with Barcelona, he never escaped the proverbial shadow of Lionel Messi.

Partying and injuries hurting the soccer career of Neymar

While it would be easy to blame parties for Neymar’s struggles, other factors are hurting his legacy. The biggest among those is injuries. Neymar has suffered through several major injuries that have kept the Brazilian out for months at a time. In 2021/22, Naymar missed 14 games with an ankle injury. In 2018/19, a metatarsal fracture kept him out for 20 games. Then, the year prior, the same injury kept Neymar out of 18 games.

“I do not think that my social life hinders my performance on the pitch,” Neymar told Globo Esporte. “In fact, I even find it funny that what I do off the pitch gets compared with what I do on it.

That said, Neymar did not stop partying when healthy. He missed a match with PSG just two days after his birthday party at a Paris nightclub with teammates. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel admitted that it was not the best way to prepare for a Ligue 1 match.

Neymar’s career is slowing down

A failed tenure in Paris led the club to sell him to Saudi Arabia. That may have signaled the beginning of Neymar’s twilight. He has had individual success, but he never reached the heights people set out for him. The 2024 Copa America looked like one of his last opportunities to win an international trophy with Brazil. However, an injury during World Cup qualifying ruled him out for that tournament.

There is a chance that will be the last time for the masses to watch Neymar.