Last night, as Mexico took on Brazil in a friendly, all eyes were on young stars Neymar and Javier Hernandez to show the world just how good they could be.
Both had their chances to score, and it is clear their respective countries are basing plays and strategies around them, and in the end Brazil came out on top of their fellow South Americans, 2-1. While Brazil have automatically qualified for the 2014 World Cup, on account of hosting the tournament, Mexico are starting to move through the qualifying stages.
Last World Cup, the focus was on Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo to show that they were world class stars as well as fantastic club footballers. And none of the mentioned names were able to live up to their reputations.
But come the 2014 World Cup, if there are two players right now we will all be watching to step up and be counted on the biggest stage in football, based on last night's performance, it will be Javier Hernandez and Neymar.
Hernandez starred for Mexico in 2010, taking his side into the last 16 only to be defeated 3-1 by Argentina. The youngster was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson as a result, and in his first season at Manchester United, scored enough goals to equal Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for goals in a debut season at the club.
The Mexico international is touted for big things in his follow-up season, and although he has taken a few knocks in the first couple of games, Ferguson believes that paired with Rooney, Hernandez can emulate United’s treble winning strikers Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.
Neymar, meanwhile, is a target for numerous European clubs, including Chelsea. The Brazilian youngster is four years younger than Hernandez, and when the two went head to head last night he looked every bit as good as the United starlet.
Should Chelsea get the opportunity to purchase Neymar, the two will be facing off a lot more often. And though Mexico are certainly not favourites to win the World Cup like Brazil might be in just under three years, the side were quite convincing in South Africa, and if Hernandez is at his peak, they could come even closer this time around.
Neymar has insisted that for now at least, he’s happy at Santos, and doesn’t want to move to Europe, despite admitting that it would be a dream come true to play for Chelsea.
No matter where this wonderkid ends up, both Hernandez and Neymar are looking more and more like the ones to watch come next World Cup.
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