Neymar's Timely Contribution vs. Atletico Madrid Is a Sign of Things to Come

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 21: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's opening goal during the Spanish Super Cup first leg match between Atletico de Madrid and Barcelona at Vicente Calderon Stadium on August 21, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It took only moments for Neymar to prove his worth for Barcelona in Wednesday's Spanish Super Cup draw against Atletico Madrid inside the Vicente Calderon.

The summer's biggest signing, Brazilian sensation Neymar leveled the first leg at 1-1 in the 66th minute with a powerful running header directed downward and into the net after coming on as a second-half substitute just seven minutes earlier. 

But as stunning as the equalizer was, Barca supporters should get used to seeing more of the same from Neymar as the season progresses.

After all, the 21-year-old is a goal scoring machine who will only benefit from playing alongside the world's top player in Lionel Messi, who netted 60 goals in 50 appearances with the Spanish champions a season ago.

While the downside of playing on a loaded squad like Barca is the fact that Neymar will receive a limited amount of opportunities to shine, the positive is that his chances will be higher quality ones with the defense being forced to pay so much attention to his teammates. 

Neymar's first Barcelona goal demonstrated that point perfectly. 

With the defense focused on Dani Alves on the right side of the box, Neymar was able to make a smooth run into the box with zero resistance from Atletico's defense. The result: An uncontested header that very few professional players would botch.

Sure, fans have to expect Neymar to struggle to adapt to Barca's players and system in the early goings this season, but they can't expect those growing pains to slow his overall production when he's on the pitch. 

This is a player who scored 136 goals in 225 appearances with Santos and has already racked up 24 goals in 39 matches with the Brazilian national team on the international stage. Neymar is too talented to be kept under wraps for long, and with time to adjust and discover a role in Barca's attack, he'll be even more dangerous.

There's always something special about the first one, but it's safe to say that Wednesday's match-saving moment won't be the last memorable impact Neymar has at Barcelona.


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