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Neymar’s Legacy: Unraveling His Place Among Brazil’s Football Legends Reviewed by Momizat on . Of all the great football players of the modern era, no one has divided opinion as much as Neymar. The prince who never quite became king. The maverick. The tre Of all the great football players of the modern era, no one has divided opinion as much as Neymar. The prince who never quite became king. The maverick. The tre Rating: 0
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Neymar’s Legacy: Unraveling His Place Among Brazil’s Football Legends

Neymar’s Legacy: Unraveling His Place Among Brazil’s Football Legends

Of all the great football players of the modern era, no one has divided opinion as much as Neymar. The prince who never quite became king. The maverick. The trendsetter. Few have had the charisma and personality of the Brazilian, but injuries and career decisions have prevented him from ever reaching his full potential. Despite 500 career goals across stints at Santos, Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, and now in Qatar, Neymar still has his critics.

 

A Champions League winner alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, this South American front three, dubbed the MSN, was the making and breaking of the Brazilian superstar. Destined to not live in Messi’s shadow, Neymar decided to depart Catalonia and try to carry PSG to a title of his own, which proved to be his downfall.

 

It is fair to say Neymar also struggled at international level. Quite often he was the star player for the Seleção but crumbled under the weight of his own expectations, with just an Olympic medal to show.

 

While he will inevitably recover from his torrid cruciate ligament injury that has hampered his time in Qatar, you wonder if Neymar will still have enough in the tank to represent Brazil in what will certainly be his final attempt at winning a tournament. Has he done enough to earn a reputation as one of Brazil’s best players?

 

Let’s take a look at the journey of the 32-year-old and see how he stands amongst some of the best from the land of the holy cross.

Neymar wins another award

Neymar wins another award

 

Humble beginnings

 

Initially, it looked like Neymar would be leaving Santos as just a boy when he trialed with Real Madrid – a path that the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo have found great success in as regular members of Carlo Ancelotti’s first team – but it would be his loyalty to his boyhood club that would make him one of the most sought after teenagers on the planet.

 

Neymar helped Santos win the 2011 Copa Libertadores just two years after making his first team debut, drawing obvious comparisons with Pele. The late Brazilian is one of the best players in history and scored 643 goals for Santos, with many believing Neymar would follow in his footsteps. With quick feet and skills that went around on social media, it was inevitable that Europe would soon come calling.

 

Comparison to other legends

 

There are many Brazilians who graced the Camp Nou as Barcelona players, and Neymar stands amongst some of the best to play in Catalonia. He was pivotal in La Liga wins under Luis Enrique but was never able to capture a Ballon D’or.

 

When compared to the likes of Ronaldinho, who won the accolade as well as the Champions League when he was comfortably the best player on the planet in 2006, as well as the likes of Rivaldo, Romario, and even Ronaldo Phenomeno, other players had perhaps done more in the colours of the Blaugrana.

 

When Neymar moved to PSG for a world record fee, few would have imagined his time in Paris would end without another European title. He got to the final in 2020 where Thomas Tuchel’s men were favourites with most trusted online betting sites but an experienced Bayern Munich team beat them 1-0 behind closed doors and ended any hopes of cementing his legacy in France.

 

Impact on Brazilian Football

 

Neymar has had a massive influence on the development of Brazilian football, both domestically and internationally. The 32-year-old has played a role in shaping the modern Brazilian playing style and the expectations placed on future generations of Brazilian footballers, with so few wingers still displaying the flair and creativity Neymar possesses in the modern game.

 

As mentioned, the next World Cup could well be Neymar’s last, and as we saw Argentina’s players try and help Messi to a final title having grown up watching him, the same could be said for Brazil’s next generation, with Vini Jr even calling Neymar an idol when he signed for Madrid in 2019.

 

“Neymar is my idol and I try to imitate many things that he does on the pitch,” he told Fox Sports.”He always sends me videos of his plays and he says: ‘Do the same, youngster’.

 

“He does things like nobody else on the pitch.”[Ronaldinho] is another player that I like and I watch his videos to learn.”Neymar and Ronaldinho are two of my greatest idols.”

 

 

Overall, it’s undeniable that Neymar is one of this generation’s most talented players, but his celebrity status and cultural impact perhaps overshadow his performances on the pitch at times. However, is this such a bad thing?

 

He might not have achieved as much at international level as Garrincha, Zico, or Pele, or won as many Champions Leagues as Cafu, Casemiro, and Marcelo. Still, Neymar’s legacy extends beyond the football pitch and resonates with Brazilian society as a whole, and for that, he will be remembered for his personality as much as his trophy cabinet.

 

Sources: espn.co.uk / beinsports.com

Neymar Brazilian legend

Neymar Brazilian legend

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