Neymar has been in the middle of constant controversy since he landed in Barcelona in the summer of 2013. Although the transfer of the young Brazilian is perhaps the most closely scrutinised in the history of football, nobody can yet be sure as to how much the Camp Nou giants actually paid to secure his services -- with the figures varying from the €57 million that Barca initially announced, to the €83m the Spanish courts are currently suggesting.
As is natural given the huge pressure on his shoulders, Neymar struggled to fulfil his potential in his first season with the Blaugrana. While the vast majority of European clubs would have been delighted with a 21-year-old winger scoring 15 times in 41 appearances in their first season in a new league, the Camp Nou faithful were left feeling that his performances could and should have been far more effective.
Despite linking relatively well on the pitch with quadruple Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi during the Brazilian's first year in the Catalan capital, it wasn't until all the off-the-pitch controversy surrounding his transfer disappeared from the front pages that the Barca career of the young No. 11 really began to take off.
READ the full column "Barcelona must make Neymar's contract renewal a priority this season" by Francesc Tomas for ESPN here.