At every World Cup, Brazil have always had a player of an outstanding talent – a player that has the capacity to make things happen for the Samba Boys. Perhaps at this time names like Ronaldo, Denilson, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Robinho come to mind. And with the 2014 FIFA World Cup nothing has changed. Mercurial striker, Neymar, will have huge expectations rested on his shoulders.
Since he made a name for his himself when he was named South American Footballer of the Year at only 19, Neymar has become more and more menacing to his opponents. At only 22, he has already turned out for Brazil 48 times scoring 31 goals in the process.
During the World Cup’s dry run, the Confederations Cup in 2013, the ball wizard gave a full glimpse of what to expect in 2014 when he inspired Brazil to championship of the tournament. His unpredictability on the ball and intelligent runs off it made him one of most difficult the players to track down and contain on the field. He scored the first goal of the tournament against Japan and that was just the beginning of his scoring spree and scintillating performances. He went on to score in Brazil’s second match against Mexico, in their third match against Italy, winning the Man-of-the-Match Award in every match.
He capped his remarkable performance with another breath-taking display of superiority when Brazil demolished World champions, Spain, 3-0 in the final, scoring the second goal of the game, eventually being named Player of the Tournament.
He’s the kind of player who has the capacity to break even the toughest of defences.
Fit and on-form as Neymar is, sparks can be expected to fly from his performance as his embarks on a mission to help Brazil win the World Cup on home soil
Since the Confederations Cup, he’s grown in maturity and has become a pivotal member of the Brazilian team.
Leading up to the World he’s been in a marauding form and South Africans will remember his first international hat-trick when in a match against Bafana Bafana in March.
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior was born in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo in 1992. He was brought into the Sao Paolo Youth Academy at a very early age and at only 17 he made his debut for Santos, beginning his football ascendancy on the football scene. His biggest move yet came in March 2013 when he signed for Barcelona for €87.2 million, making him the 10th overall highest transfer, with his release clause set at €190 million.
Fit and on-form as Neymar is, sparks can be expected to fly from his performance as his embarks on a mission to help Brazil win the World Cup on home soil, 64 years after his country lost to Uruguay when they first hosted the tournament.
– By Sipho Kekana