Barcelona Transfers: Why the Blaugrana Shouldn't Break the Bank for Neymar

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 26, 2013

Barcelona Transfers: Why the Blaugrana Shouldn't Break the Bank for Neymar

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    Going by the football media’s love affair with Neymar, you’d be forgiven for thinking he is the next Pelé.

    This article will tell you why the Blaugrana shouldn’t pay a king’s ransom for Santos' 21-year-old Brazilian international.

    Don’t hesitate to comment below with your thoughts.

Bringing You the Other Side of the Neymar Debate

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    TIME magazine labelled Neymar as the next Pele.

    The supposed next Pelé didn't score against Russia, Italy and England.

    Did Neymar get on the scoreboard in the 2012 Olympic final versus Mexico [1]? Nope. 

    Leandro Damiao (6), Moussa Konate (5) and Oribe Peralta (4) netted more Olympic goals than Neymar (3). 

    "But Neymar was more of a creator!"

    Oscar (4), Pape Souare (4) and Hiroshi Kiyotake (3) accumulated more Olympic assists than Neymar (2).

    When Santos needed him in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup final facing Barcelona, he was overawed by the occasion.

    Don't forget about him coming up short in the must-win 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup [2] group game vs. Switzerland (eventual champions).

    In a marquee friendly match at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Neymar netted a consolation goal, though Germany's Mario Gotze ran the show with Deutschland winning 3-2.

    Is Neymar cat-piss (in the words of Joey Barton)? Obviously not.

    However read this slide again and ask yourself: is Neymar worth in excess of €50 million?

    Wagner RibeiroNeymar's agent—wants you and (more importantly) Barcelona to think so when that isn't the case in reality.

    [1] Neymar has had forgettable games against Mexico at U-17, U-23 and senior level.

    [2] Neymar didn't receive an "outstanding player" mention by the FIFA Technical Study Group.

    Despite that minor set-back, as of today, his career has trumped the achievements of Sani Emmanuel (Golden Ball), Nassim Ben Khalifa (Silver Ball), Ramon Azeez (Bronze Ball) and Benjamin Siegrist (Golden Glove) combined.

Barcelona Hold the Power Position

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    Cules should facepalm if Sandro Rosell goes to Santos on his knees and says: "name a price for Neymar."

    The Santos forward has good rapport with Lionel Messi (from RAC-1 via; is constantly talking to Dani Alves about moving to Catalonia (via ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan); once named the club as the best in the world (from Peter Stebbings at the AFP)—oh, I wonder which team Neymar fancies?

    Why should Barcelona spend €50 million+ on a footballer that desperately wants to play for them?

    Just look into Santos' situation and you'll find out that they are hedging their bet on Neymar being sold—don't play ball, Rosell.

    (From Tiago Maranhao via

    Every month, over one million euros flow into a Santander account. The sum is administered personally by one of the vice presidents of the bank. This money is from the salary of Neymar and the proceeds from the eleven contracts he has signed with sponsors.

    According to France Football (per Paulo Freitas at Samba Foot), Neymar earns approximately €20 million per annum, making him the fifth highest paid footballer on the planet.

    One word: unsustainable.

    Neymar's father revealed last December (from Lancenet via Sky Sports): "He wants to play in Europe. We reduced his contract [with Santos] from 2015 to 2014 so that he can play there."

    Barca, keep calm and carry on counting the days till you can sign Neymar on a free transfer.

    Brazil's most exciting prospect signing for a European club under the Bosman ruling—sound familiar?

    Here, I'll refresh your memory (from Sky Sports' Football's Greatest via YouTube):

    Suddenly the kid from Vila Nova was a star. But, perhaps he had outgrown his southern Brazilian origins.

    When Paris Saint-Germain expressed an interest, Ronaldinho had to go.

    The fans turned on their hero when they learned he had signed for PSG on a free transfer, taking advantage of the Bosman law [1].

    The love affair between Ronaldinho and his hometown club [Gremio] was over.

    [1] (From Jethro Soutar's Ronaldinho: Football's Flamboyant Maestro via Google Books):

    Gremio were outraged: given that they had drawn up his first contract years before the new law [Bosman] had even been mooted ... it was outrageous that they could invest so much money and energy into a player only for him to be stolen from them just as they were ready to reap their rewards from him.

    They demanded compensation for the investment made in training the athlete. Gremio took their case to the courts to try and prevent him from being allowed to move to France.

    So long as there was a legal process against him in motion, Ronaldinho was forbidden from playing.

    Finally, in February 2002, a full year after Ronaldinho had left Gremio, it was resolved that PSG would pay Gremio £2.2 million, as well as five percent of any future transfer fee PSG may receive.

Fitting Neymar into Barcelona's Starting XI

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    Neymar will go from playing the Michael Jordan role to the Scottie Pippen role—it remains to be seen if that is in the Brazilian's makeup.

    It's no coincidence that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was forced out of Barcelona due to Lionel Messi's need to operate centrally.

    Alexis Sanchez is another high-profile victim because his best position—deep-lying forward—is being taken up by the world's greatest player right now.

    Will Neymar be the same? No, because he's as lethal out wide as he is centrally. 

    "But, so is Alexis."

    Sanchez's worst displays at Udinese were from the flanks, hence why I predicted he would fail at Barça (per B/R). 


    Neymar Barcelona Questions

    1. Will he be given the green-light to disregard positional discipline?

    2. Will his goal-scoring decrease due to the constant deferring to Leo?

    3. How will Neymar accept being the second option rather than the first?

    4. What kind of defensive workload will he have?

    5. Can Neymar play with the same swagger as he did with Santos?


    The Santos forward has Garrincha/Djalminha/Denilson-like genius when dribbling and you worry that Blaugrana management may strip Neymar off that freedom to dribble as they have done with Alexis.


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