Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Who is he? Where does he play?

Like he needs any introduction, despite never playing domestic football outside of his native Brazil. He is Santos's wonderfully talented attacking midfielder/ winger/ second striker/ attacking genius. Be prepared to get the balloons and cakes out as today is his birthday, he's 21!!! YAY!

Congratulations to him! So, he's pretty good then?

He is. The Paulista is not the most of accessible of competitions so not many European observers would have seen regularly the brilliance that sees the skunk-haired magician adorn so many Ballon D'or lists or be a perennial competitor for FIFA Goal of the Year gongs and such. He has won 3 straight Campeanatos with Santos and has a list of honours as long as your arm, you can read them on wiki.

I wanna see more of him!

Well you can this Wednesday as he is expected to take the field for Brazil as they face England at Wembley, whilst many long-term thinkers will be salivating at the thought of Neymar gracing his home World Cup next year as he attempts to prove he is worth the hype, something that Barcelona have already reportedly bought into. The Catalan club have apparently agreed a deal with Santos that will see Neymar join Messi and co. in a heavenly-type XI in 2014.

What can we expect from him then?

Supreme confidence first of all, that allows him to run at defenders and twist them inside out like they've been placed in a mangle. He has a wonderfully low sense of gravity that enables him to turn away from markers as quickly as a flash, so expect him to be hacked at by the English defenders who will have their hands well and truly full. He can finish with ruthlessness as he uses his pace to spring away from the shoulder of the back-line but he seems to be far better dropping off between the lines to link the play with outrageous touches and passes.

Just think of Neymar as all the qualities expected of an attacking player amplified by 10 and blended into one good-looking, tanned amalgamation of a striker.

He gets fouled a lot then, I take it?

Brazilian defenders have always been well-built physically, but Neymar doesn't seem to be phased by the rough treatment they often have to revert to as the player attempts to run rings around them like Sonic the Hedgehog if he was skillful with a football. He has matured a lot in recent seasons and, like his Argentinean counterpart, Leo Messi, usually just gets up, gets on with it and more often than not, his technical quality will have the last laugh.

Does he score a lot for Santos?

Well, he has 128 goals in 207 games for his club as well as 17 in 26 games for his country. His fruitful form has continued this year as he has hit 16 goals in 20 games for Santos so far. Don't be surprised if tomorrow night Neymar shows he can be the beacon of the new Luis Felipe Scolari era as the Selecao take on Roy Hodgson's England.

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