Finally on Monday, two of the most anticipated transfers were sealed. Mourinho returned home and Neymar joined Barcelona. Neymar passed his medicals and went into the books as Barcelona’s second most expensive signing. Hype or no hype?
There is no doubt Neymar is a fanatastic player. For a young player who plays in a relatively less known league to have caught the world’s attention, that alone is enough to intimate his technical aptness. But he is a hype, the moment you compare him to Messi and Ronaldo. His performance in the few games i have seen him play puts him nowhere near the two. He could hardly get a shot on target against Ghana and he was conspicuously missing during the FIFA Club World Cup final game in 2011. He wasn’t completely bad but you would expect miracles from a player said to be on the same pedestal with the Ballon d’or winner. If not for Pele’s ballyhoos, no one would tout Neymar a hype. That is a case to put to rest. The challenge now is how he will fare in Europe.
“I am here to help, this is more than a club, i want to help the team and Messi to continue to be the best in the world” – Neymar at his first presser.
It sounds inappropriate, right? Especially the Messi bit. Well, from a perspective, it is in a way to take pressure off him and to reduce the high expectations. I have been the leeriest of people to talk of an easy go for him at Barcelona. The likes of Ibrahimovic struggled and Sanchez is still struggling to jell with the team. That is no bar for Neymar, however. His dribbling acumen will complement Messi’s. I forsee him fitting into Barca’s system but that is not before he learns to pass the ball and pass it very well. To Messi. Telepathically, there must be that connection with Iniesta too.
His presence has implications for the team. Some players’ positions would be changed- Yes, to the bench. A change in formation? May be, to create larger parcels for all the dribblers to operate. Whether he will live up to the €57 million billing or not, it’s a matter of time. Until he kicks a ball in a competitive game on the 18th of August when
La Liga starts, i will say easy on Neymar, for there was one Dos Santos and one Robinho.
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