Neymar beat 29 competitors and won the Samba Gold award given by Sambafoot to the best Brazilian player playing abroad, for the fifth time in history. This award, named since 2008, has already become a benchmark trophy for athletes born in the country of football.
Neymar is once again celebrating the title he won in 2014 and 2015 (while playing in Barcelona) and in 2017 and 2020, already in the jersey of Paris Saint-Germain. His fifth trophy lifted the star to the top of the greatest winners in the history of the award, with two more trophies than defender Thiago Silva, three times voted the best Brazilian playing in Europe.
In 2021, the star has played 46 games and scored 17 goals, while providing 17 assists for his teammates. These figures, recorded during the matches of Paris Saint-Germain and the Seleção, give an average involvement of 0.74 but per match. He also won the Coupe de France last year and is part of the Ligue 1 and Copa America squad.
The player’s good statistics allowed him to win 42.77% of the votes of fans and journalists. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was the last player to win the trophy in 2019, before Neymar’s back-to-back wins.
2021 has been a year full of novelty for the Samba Gold award. The voting, which began on December 15, was no longer limited to the best Brazilian playing only in Europe, but in any country other than Brazil. The Women’s Samba Gold award was also created, which rewards the best Brazilian player playing abroad. The first winner is striker Giovana Queiroz, from Levante.
The Second and Third
Vinícius Júnior came second in the Samba Gold 2021 award thanks to a brilliant season at Real Madrid. With 14.45% of the vote, Vini has shown that he has taken on a whole new dimension within the Spanish club since his signing in 2018. The country’s newspapers have already recognized the qualities of the striker. For example, at the end of 2021, the newspaper “Marca” declared that he would be the “new Neymar”.
Defender Lucas Veríssimo won the “bronze medal” of the Samba Gold 2021 award. Last year, just like Vini, he started to be called up recurrently by coach Tite en Seleção and it is not a chance. He was recruited by Benfica at the start of the year, after several high-level seasons at Santos, and has become an indisputable starter within the Lisbon club. Lucas got 10.65% of the vote.
Stay Connected Next Year
Did you vote for any of these three great players? Follow Sambafoot for all the latest news on Brazilians playing abroad. The Samba Gold 2022 edition is already shaping up to be a memorable year with the World Cup in sight.