Neymar close to moving to Europe Posted
Neymar close to moving to Europe
Posted on March 8, 2013 By Alfonso Duro Soccer
Brazil’s Neymar celebrates after scoring. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
It’s been the most talked about transfer for the last two years: Neymar, Brazil and Santos’ star, is closer to a move to Europe as each day goes by.
Since he made his debut in the Brasileirao at 17 years of age, Neymar has been burning stages in his career at lightning speed. Only four years later he has already scored 170 goals and won nine tournaments: Three Paulistaos, one Copa du Brazil, one South American Cup winners Cup, two Americas Super Clasicos and one U-20 South American Championship.
Just to put it in perspective, Messi, at 21, had scored a third of the goals Neymar has, and “only” had seven trophies to his name, while of course not being as important a player to a star-studded Barcelona as Neymar has been to Santos in these first years of his career.
On the other hand, Neymar has also had his share of backhand slaps too, which will undoubtedly help him become a mentally-stronger player in his career. His poor performance in the World Club Championship, in his first club match up against Messi, Brazil’s defeat in Copa America or the U-23 National Team loss in the final of the London Olympics against Mexico, were all tough pills to swallow for a player who has been in the spotlight since the day he started playing professionally; while at the same time being compared to Pele, Messi and Ronaldo.
Neymar dreams of playing in Europe
Neymar spoke to a Spanish radio show last night and gave his opinion about when he’ll be ready to leave Santos and join the big stage: “It’s my dream [to play in Europe]. I can’t tell whether it is a close-by dream or a far-away one, but I can assure you that when I’m ready I’ll go. I can also tell you that if I had to leave now, I would be ready for it”, said cryptically the Brazilian forward.
“I have many friends in Spain: Luis Filipe, Adriano, Leo Baptistao or Alves.Alves is a great friend and he is always telling me that I should sign for Barcelona, because playing with Messi we would be unstoppable. He’s a funny guy and we get along great, but I can’t tell whether I’d prefer to sign for Barcelona or for Real Madrid. They are two great teams, with tremendous histories behind them and I think I would be happy on either of them… but I’m also very happy at Santos.”
When asked whether he thought Messi was a better player than Ronaldo, or viceversa, Neymar said: “They are both great players, and any team would be happy to have them on their roster. You can’t compare them, because they play with very different styles, but within those styles, they are the best in the world. I can’t tell you one is better than the other, but I can say that if I had to vote for the best player in the world right now, I’d vote Messi.”
So, whether Neymar moves to Europe this summer or the next, it seems his transfer to the “Big Leagues” is imminent. Both his team and the Brazilian Federation want him to stay in Brazil until after the World Cup , to make sure he reaches the tournament in the best state possible (playing time for him at Santos is assured, and at Barça or Real Madrid not so much), but if the player thinks it’s time to go in 2013, no one could really stop him.
Both Spanish giants would be waiting for him with open arms.