Spain vs. Brazil: Neymar Solidifies Status Amongst World's Elite with Win
In one of the most stunning displays of brilliance that we've seen in quite some time, Brazil defeated Spain by a score of 3-0 in the FIFA Confederations Cup Final. While some might be quick to say this was a lopsided affair, the tensions were as high as we could've asked them to be.
However, once the smoke had cleared and the dust had settled, one thing was clear—Neymar truly is one of the world's elite.
Neymar entered the tournament with mountains of pressure, as Brazil was the host country, and he'd recently been transferred to the famed FC Barcelona. Preparing to play alongside Lionel Messi, the level of expectation was higher than Neymar had ever experienced.
Let's just say that he rose to the occasion.
Neymar scores his fourth goal in five games at #ConfedCup. He has 24 goals in 39 career games for Brazil.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 30, 2013
That's what you call basking in the glory of a moment.
With four goals in five appearances at the Confederations Cup, Neymar led Brazil to an undefeated run to the title. While this may not have been the World Cup, a win over the top-ranked team in the world is a win.
Plain and simple, no one has a reason to question his legitimacy at this stage of the game.
At the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, Brazil faced the likes of Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay. In that time, the Brazilians went undefeated, receiving a brilliant performance from Neymar every time out.
In five games, Neymar tallied four goals and two assists en route to numerous post-tournament honors.
Hate him or love him, this young man can play.
Neymar has a long way to go before he enters the conversation of the world's best, as that moniker still belongs to the duo of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. With that being said, the 21-year-old proved that he's not as far off as some may have believed.
Suddenly, Barcelona's latest signing looks like more than just a complementary piece.
Working with Messi
Perhaps nothing has taken the world football community by storm than the news that Neymar will be joining FC Barcelona. Already a star-studded squad fronted by Messi, Barcelona, with the addition of Neymar, is beyond intriguing for what this duo could do together.
For those who questioned their compatibility, the Confederations Cup should put an end to those concerns.
Neymar was sensational as a goal scorer, but it was his ability to create for his teammates that truly wowed those in attendance. Not only could he make stellar plays in the open field, but Neymar routinely split elite defenses to find his man in stride.
If he's able to do so with Messi on the receiving end, Neymar will be amongst La Liga's leading assist men.
Furthermore, Neymar proved that he can create his own shot and finish off of feeds from his teammates. While some had questioned Neymar's ability to handle a backseat role to Messi, we learned something else at the Confederations Cup.
This may be more of a two-man system than we'd previously believed.
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