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Neymar Would Be Crazy to Remain at Santos Until Next Summer

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  Neymar of Brazil during an International Friendly between Brazil and Russia at Stamford Bridge on March 25, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured Columnist IVDecember 16, 2016

In general, the top players in the world play for European clubs. Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta play for Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid. The list goes on and on.

Then there is Neymar, widely considered one of the top talents in all of football. The Brazilian starlet is wanted by most of the big clubs in the world, yet the 21-year-old continues to ply his trade in Brazil for Santos.

And it appears he will do so for at least one more season.

Neymar's father told Radio Bandeirantes (via Joe Wright of that the player will stay in Brazil until the summer of 2014:

The question is, why?

It's easy to understand wanting to stay close to family, supporting Santos for another season and representing his Brazilian roots. But if you were a player of Neymar's caliber, wouldn't you want to take on the top competition the world has to offer?

Wouldn't you want to make your mark in La Liga, the English Premier League, the Bundesliga or Serie A?

While Neymar is already a global star based on his international appearances with Brazil, he'll never take his game to the next level until he's battling the top clubs in Europe over the duration of a full season. Plus, he's also missing out on playing with some of the top players in the world (since it's probably safe to assume he's headed to either Barcelona or Real Madrid). 

He's ready for Europe, and this season would make sense to take that jump.

At Real Madrid, he could potentially be replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been rumored to be making the jump back to the Premier League (h/t David Kidd of The Mirror).

At Barcelona, he would be the dynamic goalscorer the team desperately needs to take some pressure off of Lionel Messi if the team is to reclaim its European crown in the Champions League. 

Financially, Neymar is just fine. Santos has been paying him far from peanuts, and he's already one of the world's most marketable athletes. 

But the trophies that really matter, the prestige that comes with playing European club football, the chance to prove against the world's best that he is an elite talent...all of that still awaits. Most people in his shoes would either be making the jump this summer or would have already taken their talents overseas. 

Apparently, Neymar will wait one more year to do so. At this point, it's a bit hard to understand why.


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