South American Futbol - Libertadores, Sudamericana, World Cup 2010

Neymar’s player profile

Great things are expected from Santos prodigy Neymar

Brazilian football continues to generate young players with exceptional skill who go on to become household names in Europe’s top football divisions. The most recent member of this group is striker Neymar of Santos, an exceptionally talented 18-year-old who is destined to follow in the footsteps of his hero and teammate Robinho, or to a greater extent, the footsteps of Santos and Brazilian football legend Pele. Neymar, a €30 million player who is still very young, has already shown the ability to rank among the best attackers in Brazilian football history, but it will be difficult for him to live up to the expectations given how many tremendously gifted players Brazil has produced over the years.

When he was nine years old, Neymar joined Santos, but it wasn’t until he was 17 that he made his professional debut. Since then, he has consistently been praised for the level of talent he brings to the football field. The boy is quite skilled, and because of his lightning speed and technical prowess, he attracts the attention of observers. He has a plethora of tricks under his sleeve, much like Robinho, and his exceptional dribbling abilities and excellent scoring rate set him apart from the competition.

Can Neymar replicate Robinho…Pele?

Robinho and Neymar have frequently been compared due to the player’s similar physical traits to the former Real Madrid and Manchester City star (Robinho is on loan to Santos from City). It is far too early to draw such comparisons, but the Brazilian media has gone far further than that, even going so far as to compare him to Pele. Even though Neymar has yet to play for the five-time world champions, many remain optimistic about his future with the Selecao.

Neymar obviously have the talent to flourish in one of the top clubs in Europe, but he plans to stay at Santos to develop and help the team win national and international championships before making the big move. Since Neymar performed much below his ability in 2009 while representing Brazil in the U-17 World Cup and the Brazilians were eliminated in the first round, it appears that this is the appropriate course of action. Even if Neymar is gifted, he cannot be pushed in order to get the best out of the striker. Expectations continue to weigh heavily on his shoulders.

What the future holds…

Neymar caught the eye of several elite European teams before making his official Santos debut, including Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid (where he temporarily played as a young player). Although the Spaniards were clearly impressed by his special potential, Santos rejected Madrid’s offer before giving him the chance to play for Santos’ first team. Even though he is still young, he has fulfilled his promise with Santos, and it only seems a matter of time until he gets a rich contract with a top European team. Madrid once more stated their desire to sign the player in April 2010, but he will need to assess his choices as Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, and AC Milan are apparently also interested in acquiring his services.

Neymar has been the topic of conversation in Brazilian football for a number of months, and his great performance with Santos in the Sao Paulo State championship this season — in which he has scored 12 goals — has kept his hopes of being selected for Brazil’s 23-man World Cup team alive. Similar to how Brazil pressed Dunga to choose Kaka in 2002, Ronaldo in 1994, and Pele in 1958, the young prodigy was chosen as a result of his accomplishments with Santos.

Even the legendary Pele supports his selection, saying: “If I were the coach, I’d take him” (to the World Cup). Some people claim that he is too young, yet I was already a member of the national squad at the age of 16. Regardless matter whether Neymar is selected, he will soon play a crucial role for the Selecao. In the upcoming years, Neymar should play a significant role.

Player Details

Full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Junior
Position: Striker
Date of Birth: February 5, 1992 (18)
Place of Birth: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil
Height: 1.73 metres
Club: Santos



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