You'd be forgiven for thinking Neymar had been around for ages having recently made his 200th appearance for Brazilian side Santos however the pacy forward is just 20. He is currently a one club man and insists his loyalty remains with Santos for the near future as he isn't ready to leave Brazil yet. Tipped to be one of the hottest prospects around, Barcelona and Real Madrid are said to be fighting over his signature however having only played in one league it begs the question - will he make it on the big stage?
Neymar joined Santos in 2003 but when he was just 14 he travelled to Spain to trial with Real Madrid, he succeeded however it is said that Santos were so desperate to keep him they paid him 1m Reals which is the equivalent to around £300,000. He took this offer and remained at the Brazilian outfit until he signed a professional contract at the age of 17. His talents were obvious even at a young age and he rose through the ranks to make his debut as a 17 year old. It didn't take him long to fit in as the week following his debut he scored his first professional goal for the club. By the end of his first season he had managed 14 goals.
In the 2010 season Neymar settled in as a first team regular and found some goalscoring form with 14 in 19 at one point. Although progressing well in his career, Neymar had already been labelled as a diver by many and this was seen as a problem by the club. Neymar hadn't just been successful at club level, he gradually represented Brazil at youth levels too and progessed through the age groups there as well. He made his official Brazil debut in August 2010 aged 18 and he scored after just 28 minutes.
Neymar has continued to live up to his prophecy and is still scoring goals for Santos but after being labelled as such a talent at such a young age he is now being touted for the big time and it is rumoured that Barcelona are extremely keen for his services.
However, he has only played in one league for one team. Liga Do Brasil isn't known for its incredible standard and this makes his talent questionable. He isn't playing against the best week in week out and this is what worries some. He is yet to test himself and surely soon he will have to make the jump to a bigger club.
To answer the question, if Neymar will be able to replicate his feats at the Nou Camp for example, yes I believe he will personally. His pace is phenomenal and his dribbling excellent. Sometimes he has a habit of holding onto the ball for too long or showboating unecessarily however it is worth the risk as every now and then he produces some magic on the ball darting past defenders and calmly finishing. Another argument that goes in his favour is his success at international level. Although unproven in the big leagues, he has done well internationally indicating he will be able to pull it off.
I think the best move for him would be a Spanish club as he doesn't like physicality and the Spanish League suits his style best in that respect. Maybe sometime in the future he could come to the Premier League however he will need to toughen up a bit first but I have no doubt he would be able to live up to the speed of football that we possess in the UK.
Do you think Neymar would make it on the big stage? Tell us in the comments below! Any feedback would be great!
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