Neymar: 5 Areas the Brazil Star Still Needs to Work on
Neymar is one of the world's most terrific young players with many, many attributes to his name and the potential to become one of the top forwards in the global game.
The Santos forward has pace, skill on the ball, knows how to score goals and certainly doesn't lack for confidence—but, at just age 20, he still also has plenty left to learn.
Already an 18-time Brazil cap with the full international team, the samba striker has shown enough quality to attract the attention of some of Europe's biggest names such as Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but for now will continue to learn his trade at Santos until making his move.
Here are five areas he needs to improve on before making his big money transfer.
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Neymar has all the on-the-ball capability in the world so it's only natural that when he receives it, he tries to make things happen in the game.
However, all talented young players have to acquire the experience and knowledge in games to understand that they can't, and don't need to, make something happen every single time they are in possession.
Sometimes, the most effective thing a player can do is also the most simple.
Neymar has to accept and acknowledge that he tries to do too much at times, and that involving his teammates more and saving himself for the one moment which will truly make a difference, will make him a better, more effective player.
Shooting with His Left Foot
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To be fair, this is a minor complaint at this point in time, but Neymar is decidedly prone to opting to shoot with his right foot, even at the expense of manoeuvring his body all the way round the ball, instead of his left.
Neymar has already displayed a grand composure, unerring finishing ability and no shortage of goals in his few seasons of professional standard football, but becoming ruthlessly two-footed would give him a big advantage in the penalty area and could, at times, be the difference between a single point and three.
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One aspect of his game he can definitely improve upon is his defensive awareness and work-rate.
Fine going forward either on the counter or helping to maintain sustained pressure on the opposition goal, Neymar is rarely one of the first back in action when the ball is lost or pressing high up the field to keep a high defensive line.
He's on the pitch for his attacking talents, sure, but the very finest players in the world pride themselves on hard work and team responsibility every bit as much as scoring important goals and embarking on winding runs.
Neymar needs to work hard at this.
Diving and General Attitude
Neymar's diving antics have been well documented, such as in this video, and it is not only his play-acting on the pitch which has people worked up at times.
He has also been controversially banned by his club for arguing with the manager—a move which somehow ended with the manager being sacked—and has received red cards for wearing a mask as a goal celebration.
Though the last may have been somewhat harsh, his general attitude towards playing and being managed has to change if he is to make it at the very top of the world game and be seen as a star.
Movement off the Ball
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Let's be clear—Neymar has good movement. This isn't an area of his play which is below the required standard, or not in keeping with the rest of his game.
Moving in from the flanks or keeping himself wide to receive the ball in space, he does just fine.
But, as he continues gaining more experience in matches and learns how defenders will begin to track him and double-up on him, Neymar must become more clever with his movement, positioning himself between the lines of defence and midfield and learning how to receive the ball in dangerous areas.
Neymar can become one of, if not the, best forward in the world with time.
Having great movement will help him score huge numbers of goals and make him out as one of the most dangerous players in the final third.