Barcelona has had many Brazilian greats grace the pitch at the Camp Nou in a Blaugrana shirt, so you can only imagine the expectations set in Catalonia by supporters who have witnessed the previous Brazilian greats. Players such as Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Romario and Rivaldo all dazzled the crowds in Barcelona with their wizardry and trickery on a soccer pitch.
Just think about what that does to the pressure on the 21-year-old Brazilian international Neymar, who is considered the best young player in the world on a team that boasts the best player in the world in Argentine international Lionel Messi. Messi makes the game look so easy that it would scare the average player. The Camp Nou seats around 90,000 supporters, which can be intimidating for most players.
Greatness is expected from all who wear the Blaugrana shirt, and this is something that I believe weighed heavy on the psyche of the young Brazilian starlet. Neymar is full of quality and class, but even I was skeptical about how effective he could be in one of Europe’s top domestic leagues. With his slender and slight body frame, Neymar seemed to of lacked the physical attributes to contend in La Liga.
I’m glad to admit that I was wrong about Neymar. He has finally gotten his game up to speed and looks to add to one of the greatest and most dominant domestic teams club soccer has ever seen. The Brazilian has bought in hook, line and sinker to the Barcelona way. The youngster has learned to play for the team and become a more direct football player at the Camp Nou. He always had the flair and dexterity to adapt to Barcelona’s complex passing attack.
Neymar has six goals in 12 games in all competitions this season so far for Barcelona, and with Messi struggling for fitness, the Catalan supporters will look for Neymar to become the catalyst for their attack.
Neymar is just getting the hang of European football. As his career develops, he will be a nightmare to the opposition as he possess the qualities that Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo show that have made them soccer’s titans. Look for Neymar to stamp his arrival on Europe in La Liga as well as the Champions League as his form will be critical if Barcelona is to regain the European crown.