Study reveals Neymar plays football without even thinking | inside World Soccer

Japanese scientists have discovered that Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar uses 10 percent less cerebral function as he makes football decisions, indicating that his performance is driven by instinct.

Swiss journal "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience" published the results after the 22-year-old and several other athletes participated in a series of motor skills tests in Barcelona last February.

The Japanese neurologists didn't test intellect, but rather mapped several players' brain activity while they performed complicated moves on the field.

"From MRI images we discovered Neymar's brain activity to be less than 10 per cent of an amateur player," said Eiichi Naito, a researcher with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

"It is possible genetics is a factor, aided by the type of training he does.

"(The results) provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements.

"Reduced brain activity means less burden which allows (the player) to perform many complex movements at once. We believe this gives him the ability to execute his various shimmies."

Asked whether Neymar's Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi or Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo might display similar test results, Naito said: "It is fair to assume they would show similar levels given their footwork and technique."


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