Neymar Back on Form, but Will He Join Barcelona in 2013?

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IApril 19, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Neymar of Brazil (L) controls the ball under pressure from Aaron Lennon of England during the International friendly between England and Brazil at Wembley Stadium on February 6, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With nine goals scored in his past six games, it is fair to say that Neymar is back in some sort of form. Having previously gone six games without finding the back of the net—his longest scoreless run since early 2011—it will no doubt come as a major relief to the young star.

The 21-year-old has become accustomed to success and, throughout his entire senior career to date, has been a regular goalscorer and provider of assists for both club and country.

Such a loss of form, amplified by a lack of success in recent international fixtures, led to much scrutiny within the Brazilian media. Neymar's status as Brazil's biggest star will always attract such attention—warranted or not.

At such a time, the pressure on the young star must have been immense. To top it all off, the likes of Brazil legend Pele were commenting on his performances and his future was a seemingly endless topic for press discussion.

He could be forgiven for wondering what exactly he had done to warrant such unforgiving scrutiny.

Predictably, though, just as pressure began to mount, Neymar has produced answers—or, some, at least. He may not be performing against the top-level opposition most would like to see him perform against, but he is performing.

It seems, too, that we may be about to obtain some answers with regards to his future career plans. 

Following a week of increased speculation in Spain that Neymar would be heading the way of Barcelona as early as this summer, reported on Thursday that the star will travel to the club for talks following the Confederations Cup in July.

Whether true or not, it is the latest in a series of reports linking the forward with a move to Barcelona—and, indeed, a move later this summer.

There is an increasing trend in the tone of reporting to suggest that that Neymar will soon be on his way out of Santos—who will not want to be left penniless in 2014—and it appears matters may be coming to a head.

Neymar has had a difficult time of things professionally in 2013, and, with colleagues Lucas Moura and Oscar excelling in Europe, it may just be that he considers it the correct time to leave.

Unlike either of those two, Neymar's place in the Brazil national side is secure, and, if at Barcelona, there could be little better place to make his adaptation whilst retaining form.

For the moment, stories must be treated as conjecture. However, on a personal and professional level, it is easy to imagine why he may wish to move away from Brazil at present.

The pressure of being Brazil's major hope at the 2014 World Cup—and the pressure that goes with that territory—may just be easier to deal with from afar. However, ultimately, it is his decision to make—whatever he may decide.