2014 World Cup: Neymar is a Young Man With an Entire Country On His Shoulders
Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., the Brazilian soccer prodigy, has been issued the No. 10 for this year’s World Cup. This shows the country of Brazil’s complete comfort with placing their faith and reliance upon a 22-year-old from São Paolo. A tall yet simple task is being asked of the 22-year-old: Win. That’s it. Neymar is expected to win, and without a 2014 World Cup Championship banner added to their long-listed history, this year will be seen as a failure for Brazil.
As you can see, a lot of pressure is being placed on Neymar’s shoulders; most 22-year-olds would falter in this situation. However, that isn’t the case with Neymar. He is accustomed to winning and has been doing so since the ripe age of seven in the native streets of Brazil as well as at the youth club level. A highly touted prospect at age 11, he joined the youth academy of Santos FC, his first professional club. In 2009, he made his highly publicized senior debut with the club and blew up in a matter of seconds. Leading Santos FC to three straight league titles and topping the league in scoring in 2012 with 43 goals is a remarkable feat for any footballer. In 2013, Neymar moved to Europe, signed with FC Barcelona and shared the stage with Lionel Messi. In the same year, Neymar led his native Brazil to a win in the Confederations Cup by dominating the Spanish National Team in the final game.
Now I am not here to list of accomplishments or give you basic biographical information that is easily found on Wikipedia. I am simply here to make the assumption that the Brazilian National Football Team relies on Neymar to perform and lead his country to a championship. The sole responsibility of No. 10 is to be a playmaker, and anyone wearing that number is expected to give the team the best opportunity to win. This is what Neymar is capable of doing. He has grown up around the game of soccer and is a byproduct of the Brazilian system. Saying this much, Neymar will not disappoint fans. Catch the first game today at 4:00 p.m. ET as Brazil takes on Croatia for the first match of the 2014 World Cup. For a glimpse at the match-up, take a look at “The First Game of the 2014 World Cup Has Finally Arrived.”
Collin Ruby is a soccer writer for RantSports.com, Follow him on Twitter @Collin_Ruby