Brazilian forward Neymar has been compared with Lionel Messi throughout his career. He even left Barcelona to come out of the shadows of the Argentine and achieve something on his own. Playing his third season for Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar equalled Messi’s elite feat as he completed 16 dribbles in the UEFA Champions League match against Atalanta which is a record in the top-tier European club football competition.
Neymar didn’t have the most perfect game for PSG in the enthralling 2-1 victory over Serie A side on Wednesday but he did enough to leave a positive mark on the game. After missing the opportunity to open the scoring for the French side after the 5 minutes of play in Lisbon, Neymar remained unproductive till the 90th minute.
Just as the match was entering injury time and PSG were trailing by a goal to Atalanta, Neymar set his compatriot and defender Thiago Silva for an equaliser. With the game level in injury time, PSG scored the winner through Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to earn the Ligue 1 champions their first Champions League semi-finals spot since 1995.
Atalanta had opened the scoring after 27 minutes of play through Mario Pasalic and the Italians looked set to be heading into the last four, before their opponents produced a dramatic late comeback to snatch the win under their noses.
Though it wasn’t all convincing from PSG, they managed to book a spot in the last four, with Neymar playing an important role. On the personal front, Neymar now holds the record of completing the most dribbles against a team in a UCL match since Messi did so against Manchester United back in 2008. Former Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti is also level with Messi.