May 19, 2013
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Then there is Neymar, widely considered one of the top talents in all of football. The Brazilian starlet is wanted by most of the big clubs in the world, yet the 21-year-old continues to ply his trade in Brazil for Santos.
And it appears he will do so for at least one more season.
Our position is to stay until the end of contract. And we have not heard that Santos are in negotiations to sell Neymar. If Santos want then I will talk with my son to see if he really wants to go. We made some plans for Neymar to stay here until 2014. If these change we must be told beforehand.
Barcelona is waiting for Neymar but for 2014. A project is in place to see how he will fit there. They put people next to Neymar to see how he would work. And Real Madrid does the same thing in the same way.
The question is, why?
It's easy to understand wanting to stay close to family, supporting Santos for another season and representing his Brazilian roots. But if you were a player of Neymar's caliber, wouldn't you want to take on the top competition the world has to offer?
Wouldn't you want to make your mark in La Liga, the English Premier League, the Bundesliga or Serie A?
While Neymar is already a global star based on his international appearances with Brazil, he'll never take his game to the next level until he's battling the top clubs in Europe over the duration of a full season. Plus, he's also missing out on playing with some of the top players in the world (since it's probably safe to assume he's headed to either Barcelona or Real Madrid).
He's ready for Europe, and this season would make sense to take that jump.
At Real Madrid, he could potentially be replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been rumored to be making the jump back to the Premier League (h/t David Kidd of The Mirror).
At Barcelona, he would be the dynamic goalscorer the team desperately needs to take some pressure off of Lionel Messi if the team is to reclaim its European crown in the Champions League.
Financially, Neymar is just fine. Santos has been paying him far from peanuts, and he's already one of the world's most marketable athletes.
But the trophies that really matter, the prestige that comes with playing European club football, the chance to prove against the world's best that he is an elite talent...all of that still awaits. Most people in his shoes would either be making the jump this summer or would have already taken their talents overseas.
Apparently, Neymar will wait one more year to do so. At this point, it's a bit hard to understand why.
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