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Opinion: Neymar is the Next King

06/06/2014 - 09h51

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TOSTÃO
FOLHA COLUMNIST

There's no way the World Cup won't be a knockout.

There's an avalanche of advertisements and news, Galvão Bueno is a great commentator, there are thousands of people who want to make a quick buck with the tournament, there is a huge patriotic appeal; in recent days, the speech that we need to celebrate in the streets has spread, and most importantly, the national team is playing well and has a naughty and masterful No.10.

Neymar has not reached yet the technical level of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but he has a more extensive repertory of moves, with more special effects, especially when facing a team as weak as the Panama.

He looks like a boy, playing in his backyard, looking for fun and a chance of dribbling everyone. Neymar keeps playing, but now, he has to respect the common rules, the team and the game.

The comparison between Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi reminds me the one between Pele and Maradona.

The Argentine was more of a showman, and Pelé, more technical and efficient. That doesn't mean Neymar and Maradona don't have a superior technique or that Pelé and Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are not keen on football tricks.

If Brazil wins this World Cup, Neymar will become a usual candidate to world's best player, and might surpass Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

I say it based on his talent and on the fact that, in the past six years, the two shared the throne. It's very hard for an athlete to keep on top for such a long time, with so many games, an intense emotional pressure, so many injuries and so much success. Neymar is next.

Today, Brazil faces Serbia. Willian handles the ball with more affection and passes it more often, and Oscar enters more in the penalty area. Both are good.

What we must not do is to ask for Willian because he played very well against Panama, when the game was too easy. As long as Hulk plays, having Willian or Oscar doesn't change much.

Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI

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