Can Neymar outshine Ronaldo and Messi in Brazil?
With the potential to become a great, can Neymar produce on the world stage?
In any great tide of football as an entertainment, there is always going to be something that most warms the heart of fan, something that stands on its own in his affection and respect, something that makes football all the more exciting.
A player who has a purity about his game, an understanding of it and a talent for it, which you wish everyone could share.
We are in a generation where the battle for the greatest is between two players - inevitably Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi, no doubt, is one of the greatest goal scorers of all time. Even with the genius and vision of Xavi and Andres Iniesta providing the ammunition for him, there is no doubt that Messi is the greatest player on the planet with his close control, speed at dribbling, reading of the game, off the ball movements and calm finish.
Cristiano Ronaldo is in a constant battle with him and is the most complete finisher of his generation. Good with his head, dangerous and equally effective on both his feet, he is not what you would call a classic striker but no doubt remains one of the greatest goal scorers we have ever seen.
Messi and Ronaldo are two of the most effective forwards on the planet at this time. But as a football fan, for sheer enjoyment, as long as football is about entertainment, the one player that gives you an unexplainable joy, for me is Neymar.
Brazil has provided great footballers to the world. Pele, Rivelino, Zico, Garrincha, Careca, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho to name a few.
Most of them have made their mark in the World Cup, lighting up the greatest show on earth with their beautiful football. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi might have scored a bucket full of goals for their club but they are yet to feature as highly in the World Cup. It has always been a disappointment for them till now.
Neymar will have the world on his shoulders when his nation host the next World Cup in 2014. We have seen time and again that he is capable of doing the sensational tricks and outrageous skills that humiliate defenders. He has the ability to score breathtaking goals. His quality will be tested in this tournament, with the eyes of the world watching. Then we will see if he has the ability to cope with the pressure and lift his game to the next level when needed - like Pele, Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldo have done before him.
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