Olympics could be Neymar’s time to shine on the world stage
Published: 22.07.12 / Written by: David Gold
Brazilian star Neymar has a chance this summer to finally cement his place on the pantheon of the world’s top stars.
Having shone so well for Santos in recent years, the talented youngster seems set to take the Olympic football by storm if he can continue his club form.
Neymar’s skill and talent is frightening on first glance. Here is a young player with the ability to dribble past opponents with ease and take rivals out of the game with his skills. The Brazilian has been compared with Leo Messi, and there are valid comparisons between the two. Though Neymar has a long way to go to reach the level of the Argentine, he does have one big advantage over Messi – he is extremely two footed.
Neymar can follow Messi’s path though at the Olympics. Messi won the tournament with Argentina four years’ ago to announce his name on the world stage. Neymar can do the same. With players like Leandro Damiao and Paulo Henrique Ganso around him, this is a team with the ability to take the Games by the scruff of the neck, and the talent in the side can create the space for the Santos man to thrive.
The youngster has been compared too, to players like Pele and Ronaldo. The former is hardly surprising, coming as he does from Santos, the team where Pele played and made his name. Unlike Pele, Neymar may leave the club to make his own name, but there are certainly valid similarities. But Neymar will hope that he does not follow the same path as Robinho.
Robinho moved to Europe too early, to a team who were too big and has suffered as a result. He does not seem cut out for the hard and thrust of European football. Though he has done well at AC Milan, he is not the player he once promised to be.
For Neymar, there are signs he won’t make the same mistake. He is already paid a similar sum to what he would receive in Europe, so there are few worries of his head being turned solely by the money. And the Brazilian has already rejected big money moves to European teams, showing a maturity not to rush his progression.
For many years Brazil has seemingly been in transition and devoid of the flair and talent of previous teams. It is strange really, and few players have made the same impression that Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo did a decade ago in Europe. Neymar has the talent to finally showcase that memorable samba flair in Europe and remind the world that Brazil is once again a force.
And with a World Cup on home soil in 2014, he could be the shining light of a generation about to restore the world’s greatest nation to their proud status at the top of world football.