Neymar is the most fouled player in the Europe’s top leagues, according to a survey by BeSoccer Pro.
The company, which specialises in football statistics, reveals that the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil international has been fouled 1040 times since 2016.
Neymar’s PSG teammate and Argentina captain Lionel Messi is second in the ranking with 839 fouls, followed by Torino’s Andrea Belotti and Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, who are both at the receiving end of 747 each.
The report looked at official games at club and national teams from the top five European leagues — England, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.
Neymar’s official site said: “It’s not just guesswork… Neymar Jr. is, actually, the player who most suffers fouls in the main European leagues, according to a survey from the statistics company BeSoccer Pro. The ace suffered 1040 fouls since 2016… It’s a lot, right?”
Former Santos and Barcelona star Neymar has come under heavy criticism in the past for his behaviour on the pitch, with memes of the player diving dominating social media sites.
His father and agent, Neymar Santos, has often demanded more respect for his son from referees to protect him from getting injured unnecessarily.
Neymar, who was sidelined for over two months with an ankle injury, returned to play on Feb.15 in his team’s 1-0 win against Real Madrid in the Champions League round-of-16 opener.
He spoke this week about his special friendship with Messi and their desire to make history at PSG.
“We get on very well on and off the pitch,” Neymar said of Messi. “Now we’re hoping to make history at Paris Saint-Germain. We’ll see what the future holds. We’re really good friends Leo and me.
“Ever since Barcelona we built this friendship. A very strong one. We started talking about playing together again. before last year.
“I tried getting back to Barcelona. We tried everything but it didn’t work out. Then he got the chance of coming here and we were able to get him. I’m thrilled that he’s here today. He’s a friend that soccer has given me.”
Messi, meanwhile, is happy to have Neymar once again as a teammate.
“It’s very nice to be on a field with the best,” he said. “I was lucky enough to do it for a long time in Barcelona and today I also get to do it in Paris. I’m happy for that.
“I know [Angel] Di María from the national team and Ney [Neymar] from Barcelona. I didn’t know Kylian on or off the pitch, but little by little we’re getting to know each other better.”