Neymar. It’s the name on every football fans lips at the moment. And he doesn’t seem to be feeling any pressure despite signing for Barcelona for a massive €57m.
He is taking the spotlight in his stride; his performances in the Confederations Cup will attest to that.
But will he live to the huge expectation placed upon him in the long run?
In my opinion, there are three paths his career can go down - and depending on which he follows he will either be remembered as one of the greats of the game or just another talent who wasted his potential.
The first path is to continue his development at Barcelona at the same rate he is developing now. If this happens in a couple of years’ time he will have cemented himself as the third best player in the world - he will not reach Messi and Ronaldo’s level for a good few years, if he ever does.
This is definitely the best of the three possible paths and is the one Barcelona fans will be hoping he goes down as with an attacking trio of Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi and Neymar would be almost unstoppable.
The second path is for his development to falter due to the hype surrounding him. If this happens he will remain an integral part of the Barcelona team but will not become a world beater, just another cog in the remarkable machine that is Barcelona. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it will be a case of what might have been for him.
The third path is that he will fail in the shadow of Messi and fade away. If this happens he will likely go down the same route as Robinho, who had so much talent but failed to live up to his potential at Real Madrid and his career hasn’t recovered fully since then.
This seems unlikely considering the huge amount of self-belief Neymar has - but we will never truly know until we see him in a Barcelona shirt.
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