Neymar's Champions League Bow the Ultimate Test for Starlet's European Doubters
Prior to his highly anticipated arrival in Europe, there were some serious doubts surrounding Neymar and whether he would be able to adapt to his new environment at Barcelona.
On numerous occasions a player has shown himself to be particularly talented in one corner of the world, only to come up short after making the move elsewhere. Juan Sebastian Veron and Diego Forlan provide two such examples relevant to the English Premier League.
For Neymar, the debate over his personal adventure could well be swayed in his favour as he makes his Champions League debut against Ajax on Wednesday night.
In its purest sense, the Champions League is the very pinnacle of European football. It is the trophy Europe's top stars aspire to win, and if a player can make it there, he is generally considered good enough to succeed on any stage.
Will Neymar fall into that category? The scrutiny on the Brazilian intensified in June when he was unveiled as a Barcelona player, the beginning of the next step in his journey toward living up to famous Brazilian predecessors.
How many goals will Neymar score in this season's Champions League
There was speculation the 21-year-old would remain with Santos in his native Brasileiro Serie A for another year in order to help cement his place in Brazil’s national team for the 2014 World Cup.
However, Neymar had the strength of character to roll the dice, risking his World Cup dream in order to assert his worth as part of a European machine at Camp Nou.
In his first few months as a Barca player, the starlet has featured sporadically under Gerardo Martino, yet to score a league goal for his new club.
However, he provided the vital score in the Super Cup showdown with Atletico Madrid and has already begun terrorising defenders from Barca's left flank.
The main doubts around Neymar’s intercontinental move were the typical concerns for any player of his style making a similar switch. The attacker is a flair player whose attributes are centralised largely around his ability to dribble and score goals, something that gets a stern examination in the more physical climates of Europe.
The analogy is often extrapolated further for the ongoing argument as to how Lionel Messi would fare on a cold Monday night in Stoke.
For now at least, Neymar is doing well in his development and is showing a refreshing maturity by accepting Martino's decision to ease him slowly into the first team.
That being said, the Champions League is the ultimate testing ground on which Barcelona will expect their £50 million man to excel for years to come, and this first meeting with Ajax will provide some insight into just what returns they can expect on their investment.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?