Tracked by seemingly every club on the planet, Neymar is fast becoming one of the most prominent young footballers in the World. After electing to spurn the advances of Chelsea last summer, Neymar helped Brazilian club Santos on their way to a first Copa Libertadores crown since the Pele era, a success which has only increased the hype surrounding him. The line of suitors is beginning to lengthen, and it seems it will only be a matter of time before the Brazilian wunderkind departs.
When I woke up this morning and trawled through Sky Sports’ transfer headlines, an unfamiliar name popped up around a few that I normally hear a lot about. A Santos representative had confirmed that five clubs have met Neymar’s release clause of forty-five million euros, the first four were Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea. The fifth was somewhat different, a Russian club; Anzhi Makhachkala.
It seems strange for a youngster to be advised to reject four of the biggest clubs in World Football, so as to join one that isn’t even a powerhouse in its native land, however, Anzhi Makhachkala represents an option that might do wonders for Neymar’s career, and insure that the reputation he dies with is the one that we all expect him to earn.
At age nineteen, a switch of continents, lifestyle and language is always difficult, but for that transition to be accompanied by a place at a high profile club is simply too much for a player as young as Neymar; he would do much better to follow in the footsteps of some of his predecessors to the crown of “hottest young Brazilian talent,” Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Those two are not often used as blueprints for guiding the life of a young person, but in this respect they set a very good example.
A career in Europe is about steps. For some players, a move directly from South America to one of the major European clubs will end happily, but for others, such a transfer spells trouble. There is no question that Neymar has the talent to succeed at one of the four massive clubs bidding for him, his maturity and temperament though are still concerning aspects of his personality.
Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, upon making a name for themselves in Brazil, started small, Ronaldo at PSV Eindhoven and Ronaldinho at Paris St. Germain, before furthering themselves at teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. Such a route would would be ideal for Neymar, he would have the opportunity to gain experience of a new lifestyle, before throwing himself into the pressured atmosphere of a major European club.
This summer, Neymar will participate in the Copa America, a high level, demanding tournament which would also see his pre season time at a possible new club cut. All the more reason for the Brazilian to resist the temptation of a glamour move, one tired, burned out season could end his career as a top level player in Europe, even if he was set to improve in years to come.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that Neymar will heed my advice; a chance to join Barcelona or Real Madrid in this current era is one that is not often turned down, even if such a decision would be beneficial. In football, one poor choice can ruin a career, so for the sake of Neymar and the talent that he possesses, I hope he makes the right one.
Where should Neymar go?
Where will Neymar go?
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