Neymar has been linked to Barcelona for so long that the world of football is actually getting tired of it. Yet recent struggles and the need for a second scorer have placed Neymar as the top priority for La Blaugrana.
Recent reports claim that the Brazilian will not rule out a move this summer, fueling speculation that he will be a Barcelona player in a few months (via Goal).
Barcelona have also commented on the starlet, stating their interest in him and that they are only waiting on his decision before pouncing (via Goal). It seems very clear that, barring any shocking conclusions, Neymar will be a Barcelona player very soon.
But though he has a terrific future ahead of him, there are still many questions surrounding his move to Barcelona.
Will Neymar actually fit in the Tiki-Taka style? Can the Brazilian perform in Europe? And more importantly, can Neymar and Lionel Messi actually work together to boost the Blaugrana attack?
Something that many fans are not aware of is the fact that both stars will actually complement each other on the pitch.
Lionel Messi will continue to be the center forward in his “false 9” position. But Neymar will operate on the left wing in the same way that David Villa used to.
Neymar has the speed and pace to be one of the best left-wingers in the world. However, the Brazilian also has the ability to cut in to take shots and set up teammates. But it is Neymar’s scoring ability that will thrive the most at Barcelona.
Many do not realize the impressive passing ability of the Brazilian starlet. Neymar is not a selfish player despite his amazing goal-scoring ability. His overall style will be brilliantly displayed in the Blaugrana Tiki-Taka.
With both of these attackers on the pitch, Barcelona will be deadly in possession.
While Messi roams freely looking to work his magic, Neymar can either drift into a shooting position or get wide to take his defender away from the play.
The incredible duo would not only complement each other; Neymar fits Barcelona like a glove and would form one of the greatest attacking duos that the world has ever seen.
Most see Neymar as the attacking option that Barcelona desperately need. But that does not mean that the Brazilian will immediately begin to carry the team. Playing alongside Messi will allow the Brazilian to grow.
Lionel Messi will remain the undisputed star at Barcelona. Opponents will still give the majority of their attention to the four-time Ballon d’Or winner which will give Neymar the opportunity to develop.
Neymar will be expected to play a supporting role to the Argentine.
As a supporting attacker, Neymar will be given more space than a player of his caliber should enjoy. With the biggest pressure still on Messi, Neymar will have the space and time to grow while not being the focal point of the Blaugrana attack.
In fact, Neymar pairing up with Messi will be the major factor in his success at the Catalan club.
Defenders will not be able to cover Messi the same way they do today. Neymar will require attention as well, which will cause major problems for opponents.
Without the ability to fully defend both players at the same time, Barcelona’s attack will thrive in a way the world has never seen. Both stars will play off of each other and their mere presence on the pitch will take pressure off of each other.
The Only True Issue
At this moment it is very clear that Neymar, as a footballer, will fit wonderfully with Messi. The issue is not if Neymar can work, but rather if he can mentally make this step.
Neymar is still a kid at 21. Moving to Barcelona will be a giant step and the eyes of the world will be on the Brazilian. With his personal issues and attitude of the past, Neymar has a lot of growing up to do.
If the striker comes to the Catalan club with the same attitude that he has shown in the past, he will not succeed. But Neymar has shown maturity this season which will give Cules much to be excited about.
Though issues can always happen, do not expect Neymar to clash with Lionel Messi.
Neymar is a professional. He has grown up a lot and has shown that he is the player that Barcelona needs. He will fit in beautifully with Lionel Messi and as a professional, he realizes what his role will be at Barcelona.
The Brazilian will not come to Barcelona with hopes of taking Messi’s spot. He knows where he will stand in the club and what his role will be.
Will the Neymar and Messi pairing work?
If Neymar walks into the Camp Nou as a mature footballer and plays his supporting role beside Messi, expect Barcelona to regain their title as one of the greatest teams in the history of the game.
In the words of Luis Fabiano in an interview with Goal, “Messi and Neymar would be almost unstoppable at Barcelona.”
Will Neymar and Messi work as an attacking duo? Is Neymar the answer to Barcelona’s problems? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Barcelona, Lionel Messi and Neymar.