By now it has become a ritual for football fans—those of us who are less familiar with the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A than we should be, anyway.
About once a month we’ll see a link on the Internet, click on it, and then be blown away by the quality of what we see. Neymar will have scored another world-class goal and millions will be watching.
The 21-year-old Santos superstar appears to have it all. Outrageous skills, abilities and confidence to go alongside the 28 caps and 17 goals he’s already picked up for Brazil.
Europe has seemingly been waiting for him to arrive ever since he made his Santos debut in 2009, but quite admirably―even though the cynical nature of football often encourages you to repress admiration―the forward has always opted to stay in his native land. He’ll move one day, but he won’t move too soon.
He has of course been linked with virtually every top club in Europe already, with many reports indicating that he already has a deal in place to move to Barcelona (ESPN). Remember those YouTube clips? Just imagine the damage he could do next to Leo Messi.
Should that move fail though, then perhaps the Brazilian will look to pursue a career in England.
Both Manchester City and Chelsea possess the wealth and surely the desire to bring him to the Premier League, but should he land on these shores then he is likely to be viewed with skepticism by some. For many, the stepovers, the big hair and the big personality simply won’t cut it.
There are still those who insist that Messi wouldn’t be as effective in England as he is in Spain due to the differences in the physical sides to the game in the opposing countries.
Although that dated argument looks more and more ridiculous with each one of the Argentinean’s fine goals, it is still a very live debate, and Neymar would certainly attract similar attention and pre-judgment were he to switch to the Premier League. Like La Liga though, he’d be able to look at the division and see a South American starring in it.
There is little to no doubt that Luis Suarez has been one of the most watchable players in England this season, perhaps next to only Gareth Bale in the spectacular stakes. (Robin van Persie has of course been superb, but he hasn’t been required to produce as many feats of one-man brilliance as the other two).
In Suarez, Neymar could look at a player who genuinely scares the division, and someone who has driven through a rocky road on his way towards acceptance for his talent and his talent alone.
He’s still not there yet, but he would still provide a form of role model for the young Brazilian.
Neymar is of course fantastically talented enough that he doesn’t really need to look towards anyone for inspiration, but in terms of the mastery of a Premier League game, he could do worse than look at Suarez. The division looks made for the Uruguayan.
Every action and reaction from the Liverpool forward is designed on winning the match. Every movement is either towards goal or for the attacking benefit of his team. Every trick has a goal in mind.
It is the hard work put in by Suarez which shows just why he’s at home in this division, and whilst Neymar would need to work hard wherever he decides to go, it is that level of effort which will determine just how much of a success he’s going to be.
Liverpool’s position at the moment means that we’re unlikely to see the two of them playing in the same Premier League team―although with the money swirling around the division you never know―but Neymar and Suarez share some similarities, and the Brazilian could be every bit as effective as the Uruguayan if he moved to England.
Those of us over here wouldn’t have to rely on YouTube to see his goals then, either.