Thierry Henry Says Neymar Must Change Sport to Escape Lionel Messi's Shadow

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IFebruary 21, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 17:  Neymar Jr of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during warmup before the Ligue 1 match between Paris saint-Germain and Strasbourg at Parc des Princes on February 17, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Former Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has said Neymar must change sport if he wants to step out of Lionel Messi's shadow. 

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017, seemingly in a bid to increase his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or and to be able to lead his own team to glory.

However, Henry said, according to Sport"I don't know if Neymar left Barcelona to get out of the shadow of Messi. What is true is that all players are in the shadow of Messi, and if Neymar doesn't want to be, he should change sport."

The Brazil international has been a huge hit at PSG, and his effectiveness was shown by Squawka Football:

However, the UEFA Champions League is the real prize for PSG, as the French club have never lifted the trophy. Neymar's arrival was expected to boost their chances, but they are at risk of being knocked out by Real Madrid in the round of 16.

PSG lost the first leg 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, meaning they face a tough test to progress against the current holders. Neymar also came in for criticism during that match, per Get French Football News:

Despite his impact at PSG, Neymar has already been linked with a move to Real Madrid. However, the Brazilian is expected to stay at the club, even if they are knocked out of the Champions League by Los Blancos, per Telefoot (h/t Football Espana).

Unless Neymar can lead PSG to Champions League glory, he may need to move to a more high-profile club if he is to win the Ballon d'Or. The Brazilian's flair, talent and goalscoring ability mean he is expected to lift the prize at some point in the future, but he may also need to wait for Messi to slow down.

The Argentina international celebrated his 30th birthday in June 2017 but is enjoying another superb season. La Liga showed he is the top goalscorer and assist-maker in the Spanish top flight:

Barcelona are also thriving despite the departure of Neymar. The club are unbeaten in La Liga, seven points clear at the top of the table and also in the final of the Copa del Rey. Ernesto Valverde's team are also in good shape in the Champions League, after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 clash on Tuesday night.

Unsurprisingly, it was Messi who salvaged the result for Barcelona with another landmark goal, per Opta:

Messi has been the driving force behind Barcelona's success this season, propelling them towards silverware and highlighting once again he is one of the greatest players the game has seen.

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