I don't understand it. I’ve watched him a few times now, expecting to be blown away. In fact, I watch hoping to be blown away. Hoping for something to show me what all the hype is about. I want to be on the bandwagon. But I just don’t think Neymar is that good.

Don’t get me wrong, I think he is a very good player, but to hear the hype around him, you’d expect him to be in the same bracket as the Messis and the Ronaldos of this world. 

Based on what I’ve seen, he shouldn’t even be in the conversation. As a matter of fact, the only reason he seems to be in the conversation is because he’s thrown his own name in there.

I’ve seen the goal against Internacional. I’ve seen the goal against Flamengo. I’ve seen the numerous YouTube compilations, and I’ll admit they are brilliant. He looks capable of moments of outstanding quality that can humiliate opponents. 

But from what I can tell, that’s all they are. Moments. To me, he looks like the ultimate Youtube player. He looks like somebody who will showboat, beat his man with an amazing piece of skill, but then do nothing with it. The goals against Internacional and Flamengo stand out, because he actually went somewhere with them.

At the same time, I’m not completely writing his career off. He’s still very young, and maybe he’ll develop his game as he matures. But this is a story we’ve all heard before, particularly with Brazilians. 

Robinho was the next Pele. Luis Fabiano was the next Ronaldo. They both had decent careers but have never quite lived up to the hype. Even since then, Keirrison was supposed to be the next Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho. He got his move to Barcelona. But the fact that some of you reading this will be thinking ‘who?’ tells its own story. He never played a minute for Barcelona. He just wasn’t that good. 

Neymar clearly still has some way to go in his development, and maybe he will be the next great player. However, I don’t think the hype around him is helping at all. Having the likes of Pele touting you as the next big thing and saying that you’re going to show up Messi when your teams meet cannot help. It helps even less when the side you lead are subsequently taught a lesson by Barcelona and Messi scores twice.

It doesn’t help when you say that England are a one-man team led by Wayne Rooney before your side lose 2-1, Jack Wilshere (the same age as you by the way) bosses the game and wins the man of the match award, you miss an absolute sitter and then spend the rest of the game trying to claw your way out of Gary Cahill’s back pocket.

For the time being, maybe it would be for the best if Neymar just concentrates on being as good as he can be. Instead of being the next Ronaldo, he could well end up being the next Robinho. Or Adriano, or Pato or Diego. Good, but not great.

 

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