Neymar nowhere near his best He may be o
Neymar nowhere near his best
He may be one of the most marketable athlete’s in the world but why has Neymar’s development as a footballer stalled? Is it time to move to Europe?
Even Pelè has rowed back after claiming that Neymar was better than Messi.Brazil’s greatest player claimed that if Messi wanted to be the best player in the world he would have to be better than Neymar, ‘right now, he is only more experienced’, fair enough, but then Maradona responded saying that Pelè was being ‘stupid’ and ‘Neymar may be the best player in the world, but only if you say that Messi is from another planet’.
Probably they are both right, but the exchange was probably more about the two biggest egos in world football clashing over whose ‘anointed’ one was better. Very mature. But for all Neymar’s brilliance, his dribbling, shooting, his penchant for the spectacular, he is missing an important characteristic – consistency. The lad is only 20, and still has some physical development to do before he reaches his peak, put he has time and time again gone missing in the big games and most notably, and worryingly, for the national team.
Watching Neymar play against Italy in Geneva this month, apart from a stunning solo goal, he was held in check by a robust Italian defence. In those 90 minutes we saw both his strengths and his weaknesses. His incredible bust of speed saw him scythe through Italian defence like a wraith and his shot was direct and powerful, but the rest of the game he struggled to find space or to shrug his marker. Against the Russians he was worryingly anonymous against an well organised defence, but you can’t take the run of poor results by the Brazilian football team solely at the feet Neymar, they are a young and disjointed team under a new manager and still looking for the tactical key that can best utilise their great talent, even Messi has struggled to dominate with his international team.
Much was made of Neymar’s decision to shun a big money move to one of Europe’s big clubs and stay at home with Santos. Players like Ze Roberto, Ronaldinho and Pato were returning to play their game in Brazil rather than looking for a pay-out in Qatar or the US. It was an enormous sense of pride for Brazilians that for the first time they could keep their best young player at home rather than see him shipped off the other side of the world, and even more so, seeing as Neymar looked set to be the first obviously, in appearances at least, global football superstar of indigenous origins.
The contract with Santos expires in 2014, and the player’s agent has begun to sound out alternatives for the youngster. It looks like a big money move to Europe beckons after all. Barcelona are favourites to land his signature, if they want to break the bank for the €50 million price tag. The Catalan club should be cautious however, as the last time they brought in a fuoriclasse to compliment Messi, Ibrahimovic, it backfired spectacularly.
Barcelona are replete with firepower and bringing in Neymar May holdback some of their promising young strikers on the cusp of breaking into the team.Madrid, have Ronaldo, the player Neymar is probably closest to, they might run the risk of canceling each other out.
When Cristiano arrived at Old Trafford he had a similar physique to Neymar, however the Brazilian has a superior skill set at his age, but the Portuguese had the luxury of a few years enduring the rigours of the Premier League, and an insanely dedicated attitude to physical training that built him up to the way he is now, unfortunately Neymar’s brilliance means, wherever he goes, he will be expected to be the best player in the world immediately. No pressure then. Spain has their global super stars, England could prove too physical and intense a cauldron, so for me the logical choice is Italy’s Serie A.
Neymar’s technical gifts would flourish in Italy and it would allow him the time and space to develop physically. The Italian media is…