The 21 year old hits it big

Jeff Bagley

Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior has recently been added to the depth charts for Barcelona. Coming from a smaller club Santos FC in Brazil, and moving to one of the top ranked clubs in the world, after he only recently turned the ripe old age of 21. Barcelona has taken somewhat of a risk on the Brazilian, seeing as he has he is only 21, and debuted with Santos at the age of 17. However in that time span Neymar has rocked the Brazilian league winning the Campeonato Paulista in 2010 as well as being the best player in the entire competition.

Neymars quick move to Barcelona has sparked many controversial arguments over whether he’ll do well, if he will mesh well with his other teammates, and how he will deal with the level of play in Europe. In Brazil, he was a superstar, but compared to the level of play and intensity of play its like moving up from college football to the pros. All the best players from all over the entire world play in Europe making the talent gap very wide. Therefore many critics have claimed that he plays a too polite game, and will get pushed around in Europe by bigger, stronger, more aggressive play. Some are concerned that at 5’9” 140 lbs(espn) he may be too small to play against the bigger footballers in Europe.neymar-smile-barcelona-presentation
Even Brazil great Pele has been quoted after hearing many people comparing Messi to Pele, Pele simply replied by saying “There’s always this Maradona comparison, saying that he’s better than Pele. Now some are saying that Messi is better than Pele. Well, he has to be better than Neymar first, which he isn’t yet.”(sports net)

Along with Neymar’s play being fancy, and not necessarily as friendly to his teammates, many critics have wondered, because he is such a flashy player, will he be able to mesh with other high skill players such as Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. Just like the eventual break up of Kobe and Shaq many people fear Messi and Neymar will not be able to stick together. While only time will tell Neymar has been quoted saying about Lionel “I admire him, he is my idol. I respect him a lot. He has been the best player in the world four times now,and he’s eager to do it again.”(espnfc) Putting to rest alot of the critics that have claimed he is too selfish to mesh well with Messi, who is one of the most electrifying players on the planet.

Messi_with_Neymar_Junior_the_Future_of_Brazil

In my opinion Neymar will have an uphill battle to reach the same level of play as the rest of La Liga. However because he spent so much time in the Santos program, and he has played on the world stage with Brazil, I believe he has the potential to shine at Barca within the next two years. Some people may think that Neymar was an unnecessary risk, but I think most people will agree Neymar has such a great potential to become a key asset to the Barcelona Futbol Club. He will easily be able to get bigger, which will help him with the more physical aspect of the game in Europe, along with getting bigger some of his strengths lie in his dribbling, finishing ability, and his incredible technique just to name a few of this incredible players attributes.

In the end only time will tell whether or not signing Neymar for an incredible amount of money with pay off for Barcelona. I have faith that he will come through and rock Europe just like he has in Brazil, and potentially surpass the prestige that Messi, The Atomic Flea, has accumulated amongst the critics across the globe.

Sources:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/messi-neymar-pele/

http://espnfc.com/news/story/_/id/1547596/neymar-praises-idol-lionel-messi?cc=5901

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130628/neymar-brazil-spain.ap/

http://espnfc.com/player/_/id/132948/neymar-da-silva-santos-junior?cc=5901

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