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GUEST COLUMN: Will Neymar’s antics be remembered more or his sheer talent?

Recently, the former Liverpool FC player Jamie Carragher said that Neymar Jr will not be remembered as a great player due to his antics on the pitch. To what extent is the footballer turned pundit right about his prediction?

Written By: Debjit Ghoshal

From the Santos days to the PSG, one thing that followed Neymar over the years in controversy. Whether it is about his transfer saga or his showboating on the pitch. It may even be his lifestyle along with his attitude but one thing that has always been there to see is the utter raw talent he possesses and his ability to turn a match on its head has never been questioned.

Since being recognized as a wonder kid in the Santos days. Neymar came to the spotlight at a very young age and after that big money move to the La Liga giants FC Barcelona in the summer of 2013, he has been in the headlines ever since. The first question that was asked about Neymar when he moved to the Catalan club was about his physique. It was accompanied by the buzz surrounding his diet chart and whether he has got the body and style to adjust to European football or not. Just when it looked like he was settling nicely under the guidance of Barca’s blue-eyed boy, Leo Messi. Up came another embroilment, the transfer saga where the allegations of corruption and fraud surrounding his transfer to Barcelona had become the most talked topic in Spain. Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was alleged to misapplied funds to pay to Jr’s father and agent, Neymar da Silva Santos Sr. On the field, he was criticized heavily because of his showboating, which the opponents didn’t take nicely and felt disrespecting.

After spending four years with the Catalan club, the Brazilian forward moved to the Parc de France. By becoming the most expensive player of all time after Paris Saint Germain paid a staggering amount of 222 million euros to Barcelona. Though Neymar said that his main moto behind this move was his dream to play for PSG but everyone assumed that it might have something to win the Ballon d’Or which seemed unlikely in Barcelona under the shadow of his compatriot Leo Messi. His behavior issues came under the scrutiny when he got involved in a fight with his teammate Edinson Cavani and it seemed like there was no love lost between two people. His dream of winning the champions league with PSG shattered after losing the quarterfinal against Real Madrid and his playacting in the field was getting questioned more and more. It reached the pinnacle in the world cup of 2018 where Neymar spent around 14 minutes on the floor in just four matches which were really unacceptable and unimaginable at the same time.

When comes to his ability, flair, and the capability to decide a game. He should never be doubted. The sensational Brazillian forward has bagged 60 goals in merely 96 caps for his national team and is set to break the all-time goal scoring record from his predecessors. We also have to keep in mind that he is only 26 years old. He has tasted the success in the form of a Confederation cup with Brazil and his most recent success with the national side came in the 2016 Rio Olympics where he guided the home side to a deserved Gold medal. He has already won a UEFA Champions League with Barcelona and three League titles with the respective leagues he has played in. He has also won the Puskas award in 2011 and it proves the amount of talent he posses on the field. His trickeries, deceptions, his controllability, dribbling with the ball is truly a treat to watch for a football fan. The rainbow flicked he pulled off against Liverpool in Parc de France in the 89th of a crunch game was a message to everyone that yes you can pull the most difficult of tricks in the field if you practice it enough.

As a football fan, it is a delight to watch Neymar Jr in action and we all are hopeful that one day he will concentrate more on the football than the antics of his. As far as the trickeries and showboating is concerned, I have no issues with it because without these things Neymar Jr will be incomplete.    

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