Japanese neurologists have studied Neymar‘s brain and have concluded that the player’s dribbling skills are so natural, he plays like he’s on autopilot.
Results of brain scans conducted on Neymar in February this year indicated minimal cerebral function when he rotated his ankle and point to the Barcelona striker’s wizardry being uncannily natural.
“From MRI images we discovered Neymar’s brain activity to be less than 10 percent of an amateur player,” researcher Eiichi Naito told AFP on Friday.
“It is possible genetics is a factor, aided by the type of training he does.”
The findings were published in the Swiss journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience following a series of motor skills tests carried out on the 22-year-old Neymar and several other athletes in Barcelona in February this year.
Naito concluded in his paper that the test results “provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements”.
Asked whether Neymar’s Barcelona team-mate 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.”
Naito told Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper: “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.”