Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is a 22-year-old Brazilian forward who spends most of his time playing striker for his club team FC Barcelona. He is young and still has ampule amount of experience to gain, but can he be the next Pele?
Can he live up to the expectations of wearing #10 in Brazil?
Pele is a retired Brazilian football player who made 92 national appearances for Brazil, while scoring 77 goals. He scored his first goal for Brazil at the age of 16 and nine months to become the youngest player ever to score in an international match. He went on to score 1,281 goals in just 1,363 games. Many people say he is the best soccer player of all time. Oh and he wore #10 for Brazil.
These are the expectations Neymar has to live up to if he wants to continue to honor Pele by wearing #10 for Brazil. He has scored 30 goals in 47 appearances since joining the Brazil national team in 2010. But while playing for FC Barcelona he has been a disappointment. He joined Barcelona in 2013 and has only scored nine goals in 25 appearances with eight assists on 68 shots. He is getting plenty of shots off, but they are rarely on goal. And if Neymar is going to continue to struggle in front of net, he needs to up his assist total and help out star forward Lionel Messi.
With Brazil, Neymar has won many awards. At 19, Neymar won the 2011 South American Footballer of the Year award. He also won the Golden Ball for best player at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. But his awards are not translating into quality play and scoring like they need to.
Neymar is still very young, but he has the chance to showcase his talent in his home country of Brazil in the upcoming 2014 World Cup. He has a chance to be the next Pele for Brazilian fans and make #10 a dynasty, but he needs to start living up the the hype that surrounds him.
Neymar is very quick on the ball and has tremendous foot skills. He is skilled and has great knowledge of the game that needs to start translating on the field. He knows how to move off the ball and create space for both him and his teammates. His runs off the ball are very effective because he is a very quick player.
But Neymar does have some aspects of the game he needs to work on to live up to the Pele expectations.
Neymar needs to have more composure in front of the net and be greedier. He has talent, but if it does not translate into goals there is no point. He needs to calm down in front of goal and get off quality shots. As long as they are hard, quality shots on goal his teammates can collect the rebound and the shots always have a chance to go in. Neymar also needs to be greedy and take defenders on. He needs to showcase his foot skills and prove he is one of the best upcoming forwards in the world. Be greedy and go to goal.
Neymar has a chance to do great things on the field like Pele did. He now has to work even harder because he injured his left foot and is going to be out for four weeks, but it is possible for him to live up to the hype.
Neymar can live up to #10.