Showboating Neymar inspires wonderkid

Neymar, 26, has divided opinion amongst football purists during 2018 amidst a topsy-turvy journey that displayed varied levels of extremes.

From a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, to the theatrical diving at the FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian superstar has won plenty of admirers but also invited an array of detractors.

Even Brazil icon Pele conceded the actions of the £200m forward is 'hard to defend.'

But England and Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho believes the PSG front-man is a breath of fresh air in the same manner Ronaldinho Gaucho used to inspire him growing up.

In an interview with the Mirror, he said: "Growing up, my ­favourite player was Ronaldinho. That speaks for itself, really. He was such a great player and always played with a smile.

"Now it's Neymar, because he's just different. He takes the mickey out of people. Obviously it's not good but he's just being himself, he's expressing himself and I love that. People are maybe not scared about doing what he does, but they just wouldn't do the things he's doing.

"I just think when you are different you stand out more and I like when ­people stand out because it's something different, an individuality on the pitch that you just don't see every day."