Why Real Madrid Need Neymar More Than Barcelona
The Spanish rivalry better known as "El Clasico" pits two of world's biggest football clubs against each other, a contest that, for 110 years, has brought a healthy mix of jubilation, disappointment and everything in between for supporters of either side.
But it isn't just the ever-exhilarating, on-the-field clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid that energizes the fans.
The hunt to secure the top players from around the world is just another skirmish between the two clubs that can represent a true difference in future fixtures.
Perhaps one player with the potential to add more flair to an already gut-wrenching rivalry is Brazilian sensation Neymar, an ultra-talented Santos starlet just waiting to make his splash in the biggest way possible.
In addition to a host of other clubs vying to secure the 20-year-old's elite services, Real Madrid and Barcelona are certainly in the mix.
But which club would have the most to gain by inking such a commanding player?
State of Play
There is an obvious contrast between the two clubs' styles of play.
While Barcelona employs a possession game headlined by a quick, up-tempo passing utility, applicable because of the type of personnel that the Catalans can field, Real Madrid and its bigger-bodied squad utilize a barrage of tactics to control the pitch, both on the ground and through the air.
Effectively, both clubs are very good at what they do, evident by their respective runs of success. Neymar is a player that looks to fit the tactics of Barcelona more than Real Madrid. This isn't to say that the Brazilian could not be successful at the Bernabeu, but with the one-touch passing that Barca so effortlessly applies, Neymar would do well.
However, Los Blancos have much to gain by acquiring the skillful forward.
In fact, one could see it as taking a page from Barcelona's book and adding it to Real Madrid's lengthy collections.
Obviously, Cristiano Ronaldo's prowess far exceeds Neymar's, but one has to wonder how these two ball-commanding stars would operate alongside one another. With both having native Portuguese tongues, perhaps there is more to be had by pairing the two together.
What a combination it would present to have two skillful forwards that command so much attention from opposing defenses. As both players possess the talent to beat virtually any on-ball defender one-on-one, it very well could leave easy options for the rest.
In similar ways that Messi and Xavi connect, or Messi and Iniesta link up or Iniesta and Xavi share the same wavelengths, Ronaldo and Neymar could be a pairing that would rival the best duos in the world.
If Real Madrid were to acquire Neymar, an effort that would cost the club dearly, it would only add permutations to an offensive system that is consistently threatening. It could implement a roaming element that would allow several players to enter into different spaces of play, stretching defenses into a definite discomfort zone with the type of quality that Real Madrid would have at its disposal.
With the ability to play on either side, up the wing or as a true forward, Neymar's diversity alone opens up huge doors for an offense that already lingers with threats across the board.
A Buying Defense
The easiest argument for signing Neymar is simply to keep him away from the Catalans.
Allowing Barcelona to swoop in and claim the Brazilian star for itself would be disastrous for a club looking to recapture dominance in Spain. The prospect of adding yet another ball magician to a team with the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta would be introducing just another twist for Real Madrid to overcome.
The club has the financial backing, as do most other clubs looking to sign arguably the best player on the market.
The Bottom Line
This should not be about solely denying a rival club the chance to sign a proven difference-maker. While that may be a definite influence in the decision-making, Neymar's skills improve the clubs' chances of winning on a daily basis.
Real Madrid have to look at the possibility as a business decision to acquire the best pieces to be successful.
And with just a few looks at what Neymar is capable of, there is no denying that the Brazilian will be quite an asset.
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