Ranking Neymar's Top 5 Games in His Debut Barcelona Season

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IAugust 10, 2014

Ranking Neymar's Top 5 Games in His Debut Barcelona Season

0 of 5

    Neymar enjoyed a great start to his Barcelona career.
    Neymar enjoyed a great start to his Barcelona career.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Neymar joined Barcelona under a cloud it must be said.

    A less-than-transparent transfer deal, while not his fault, meant more focus was initially off the field rather than on it.

    The Brazilian quickly reversed the trend, helping his side to a Supercopa de Espana win and an outstanding start to the La Liga season.

    By December, he trailed only Lionel Messi in the scoring stakes.

    He continued to impress until injury curtailed his progress during the latter stages of the season, but by then he had already been the architect of enough stand-out moments for even the most pessimistic Cule to be impressed.

    Let's take a look at Neymar's five best games from his opening season in Blaugrana.

Villarreal

1 of 5

    Coming just a few days after his hat-trick against Celtic, Neymar continued his good form against the Yellow Submarine
    Coming just a few days after his hat-trick against Celtic, Neymar continued his good form against the Yellow SubmarineDavid Ramos/Getty Images

    Only a few days after his hat-trick against Celtic in the Champions League came another match-winning display from Neymar, this time against Villarreal.

    A penalty to open the scoring on the half-hour mark should've opened the floodgates but the Yellow Submarine proved to be difficult opponents.

    The Brazilian scored his and Barca's second goal of the game after 68 minutes, and only the woodwork denied him his second hat-trick of the week.

    It was a fine way to round off the year.

Atletico Madrid

2 of 5

    Neymar announced his arrival at Barca with a pinpoint header that won the Supercopa de Espana on away goals.
    Neymar announced his arrival at Barca with a pinpoint header that won the Supercopa de Espana on away goals.Associated Press

    After a 26-minute cameo in the 7-0 destruction of Levante, Tata Martino decided to give Neymar slightly longer at the Vicente Calderon.

    Coming into the first leg of a physical Supercopa de Espana final against Atletico Madrid could've intimidated the youngster, but he quickly found his feet in front of a boisterous home crowd.

    Within seven minutes of his introduction, he'd levelled the scores with what turned out to be the away-goal winner in the tie.

    He continued to torment and rile the home defence, getting himself booked just before the end of the game.

Celta Vigo

3 of 5

    Neymar was an easy pick for the Man of the Match award.
    Neymar was an easy pick for the Man of the Match award.Associated Press

    Three days after a wonderful win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, Barca were back at home with Celta Vigo the visitors.

    In a game remembered for the season-ending injury sustained by Victor Valdes, Neymar was on fire.

    With Alexis Sanchez and Lionel Messi at the top of their game, it would take something special to depose either as Man of the Match, but Neymar provided it.

    Just six minutes in, the youngster opened the scoring from close range after some good link-up play between Messi and Sanchez.

    Whether Luis Enrique, then Celta manager, decided to put two, three or even four players down the left side, it made no difference whatsoever. None could contain Neymar's incisive forays.

    His second not long after the hour put the gloss on a wonderful performance.

Celtic

4 of 5

    A hat-trick against Celtic capped a masterful performance.
    A hat-trick against Celtic capped a masterful performance.Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

    With Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas unavailable, Neymar was pushed into the centre-forward role, and boy did he deliver.

    A 13-minute hat-trick either side of half-time killed the game as a contest and ensured the Brazilian would take the match ball home.

    He could've had more, David Saura of FCBarcelona.com detailing eight goalscoring chances that he created during the match.

    Unplayable on this form.

Real Madrid

5 of 5

    Neymar's first El Clasico was one to remember.
    Neymar's first El Clasico was one to remember.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    The first El Clasico of the season, at the back end of October, had Neymar written large right across it.

    The young Brazilian simply owned the biggest club stage of all at the first time of asking.

    Although Carlo Ancelotti's strange decision to play Sergio Ramos in midfield played right into Barca's hands, that should take nothing away from Neymar's performance. Real Madrid simply couldn't live with his trickery, pace and invention.

    His opening goal, while a little fortunate, illuminated Camp Nou, and he continued to be a thorn in Los Blancos' side throughout proceedings.

    Omnipresent, he supplied the pass for Alexis Sanchez's delicious winner and the standing ovation he received when he left the pitch on 84 minutes was well deserved.