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Regarding Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. once said, “He is a monster, one of the greatest in football.” But, how high does the Brazilian rate the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner? Well, certainly not as high as his countryman Ronaldo Nazario. In a new video, the Al Hilal star names his dream side of 7 players, one noticeably different from his previous preferred XI. Who made the cut this time?

At the back, Neymar has chosen Julio Cesar as his goalkeeper of choice ahead of Victor Valdes. The two were teammates in the National Team until 2014. The Al Hilal star’s team consists of a Samba flavor. In defense, he has chosen Gerard Pique and countryman Thiago Silva. He is good friends with the duo and even joined Pique’s Kings League recently. As for Thiago Silva, he is one of the only two ex-PSG stars chosen by Neymar, ahead of the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria!

In midfield, the legendary Andres Iniesta is joined by Ronaldinho. This would have been a challenging pick for Brazil’s record goalscorer, as he had to snub the likes of Kaka and Xavi! However, these choices certainly are not as challenging as the attacking ones.

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The two forwards chosen are Lionel Messi & Ronaldo Nazario. Notably, Neymar had played with Ronaldo Nazario during his final match for Brazil against Romania. However, the elephant in the room is the absence of CR7. At first glance, it looks like the 32-year-old has chosen players he has played alongside with. Hence, that explains his exclusion. But is it really the case? Let’s find out.

Not the first time Neymar has snubbed CR7 in his dream team!

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Back in 2022, Neymar was tasked with picking his dream XI. In that instance, the former Barcelona star named 5 Real Madrid players. Strikingly, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t make the cut even then. The Los Blancos stars chosen were Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Kaka, Robinho, and Vinicius Jr.

The other players to make the cut then were Victor Valdes, Lionel Messi, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Ronaldinho, and Kylian Mbappe. Interestingly, there was no mention of Ronaldo Nazario, Julio Cesar, or Andres Iniesta back then. Perhaps, the Brazilian must have felt this team would work better as an XI. Regardless, the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo in both instances is indeed puzzling.

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What is your view of Neymar’s dream team? Tell us below in the comments.

Written by

Adithya Narayanan

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Adithya is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. A Liverpool fanboy, he takes pride in being alive to witness Jurgen Klopp taking the Reds to domestic and European glory. Adithya loves an in-depth soccer chat involving tactical intricacies and stats.
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Edited by

Daniel D'Cruz