Neymar is Barca's latest Brazilian star

Posted by Paul Carr, ESPN Stats & Information

Barcelona introduced 21-year-old Neymar on Monday, and the star forward will join forces with Lionel Messi and company at Camp Nou next season. Here are five notes on his career thus far and his future at Barcelona…

* Hailed by Pelé as better than Lionel Messi, Neymar will forever be compared to Barcelona's four-time Ballon d'Or winner. Both debuted at age 17, and though their styles and competitions have been different, Neymar has scored more frequently than Messi through five seasons. Neymar had 138 goals in 229 games for Santos; Messi scored 80 times in 161 games with Barcelona in his first five seasons.

* Neymar won South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He’s one of eight players to win the award more than once, and Zico is the only Brazilian to win three times. But Neymar won’t be able to add to his haul in the near future, as the award is given only to players who play club soccer in South America.

* Neymar has 20 goals in 32 appearances for Brazil’s national team, though 28 of those 32 games were friendlies. He scored against the United States in his debut in 2010, and he’s added 17 goals in 27 friendlies since.

Because Brazil qualified automatically for the 2014 World Cup as the host nation, Neymar’s only competitive games thus far have been at 2011 Copa América, when he scored twice in four matches, and Brazil was ousted on penalty kicks by Paraguay in the quarterfinals.

* Neymar joins countrymen Adriano and Dani Alves on the Barcelona roster, and the list of past Brazilians to play for Barca is even more impressive. Romário, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho all donned the blaugrana in the past 20 years, and all four won the FIFA World Player of the Year at least once with the club.

* This is not the first time Barcelona has added a much sought-after forward to Messi’s team. Three previous players won titles and scored plenty of goals, but with varying degrees of popularity and success.

Thierry Henry won two league titles and a Champions League trophy after joining in June 2007, scoring 35 goals in 80 league games, but just four in 21 games during his final season.

Though he lasted only one season because of a falling out with Pep Guardiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic did score 16 goals in 29 league games en route to the 2009-10 La Liga title.

And David Villa has won two league titles and a Champions League crown since joining Barca in 2010, with 33 goals in 77 games. His career has been slowed by a broken leg, suffered at the 2011 Club World Cup.

One significant difference between those three forwards and Neymar is age. Neymar is six years younger than any of the aforementioned strikers were when they joined Barcelona.

ESPN Conversations