08 August 2011

So about that Neymar..

By Dr3



Let’s do this by a series of questions


Who at 19 was supposed/expected to be the talisman of their country?


In short the answer is no one. Ronaldo at 18 was on the bench for Brazil in 1994, watching on as the established big boys led by Romario did what grown-ups are supposed to do. What about the Messiah? Do you remember? World Cup 2006? Copa 2007? Was he "supposed to be" Jesus already? No. Even the irrepressible Pele, was a star at 17, but certainly not the focal point and/or expected savior. So, in short, it stands to reason that we are actually saying that based on what we know of Neymar, he is better than the said legends, such that he should be able to do more, and means more, than them at comparative ages.

Why is Neymar supposed to be the star?


Based on the Brazilian league performances and some flashes of genius in his debut for the Brazilian National Team, and the mouths of his agent, trainers, retired players, and twitter, Neymar became everything he is not. He became more decisive than Cristiano Ronaldo. He became a player second only to Messi. He became a player capable of challenging for the Ballon D'Or while playing in Brazil. Also, due to the overall youthfulness of the team, his age is rendered irrelevant, and he represents one of the more decorated players on the squad. But what about Robinho? What about Pato? It’s interesting that the “new” next phenomenon is the piñata for all media/fan stick, while the older new ones somehow escape without any scrutiny. Looking back to 2002, shouldn’t it be Robinho and Pato that form the new Rivaldo-Ronaldo, while Neymar does his Ronaldinho impression? Instead we combine Rivaldo and Ronaldo into a samba heap of expectation; call it Neymar, and allow Pato and Robinho to live as new-era Denilsons.

What is that about Pato and Robinho?




Personally I like Robinho. But personally, he embodies every sentiment about wasted potential. The kid at Real Madrid and the man at Ac Milan are not only different in age, but in tons of ineffables from mentality to quality. He no longer has the tricks. He longer is marquee. He is now a team player that you wish was more individualistic. He now needs to be cast as Robin to some Batman, in order to be effective. Remembering that at one point he was “competition” to Messi really speaks volumes of his demise. A man broken it seems, by his time with money-bags Citteh.

As far as Pato goes, there’s an idiom detailing what to do when you have nothing good to say. The next Ronaldo? Maybe the next Ricardo Oliveira.

So yet again, what is the issue with international competitions?


So while Mr. Bourbon loves internationals for many valid reasons, my stance remains unchanged. After 90 minutes in the Copa America the verdict was tattooed everywhere; Neymar = Overrated. While I agree with the sentiment on the basis of the comparisons to Cristiano and the like, the fact that they arrived based upon ONE game summed up everything I hate about the hype machine that is international competitions. Once Brazil was eliminated with not stardust, but hairdos to show from Neymar, the knee-jerk tattoo became a symbol of pride. Validation; he is garbage. I didn’t watch the Brasileirao, therefore in order to make my judgment of a player I will watch the Copa. I will magnify my expectations of a player into that of a demi-god and upon his failure I will label him a flop. I will take his reputation on face value from a league in which Ronaldinho shines while running less than Rivaldo at 39. It’s always the same. It’s always pretty annoying.

Is Neymar overrated?



Yes. But the question should be more existential. It’s not enough that Messi and Cristiano play at such high levels at the same time. While in previous eras there were many Zlatans led by Robbens led by a single Messi/Cristiano, we instead have both at the same time, seemingly only getting better. But it still is not enough. As if there is some prize, there is a never ending quest to label and find the next whoever, even before current players have neared dipping in form. Having "long eye" they call it Trinidad and Tobago, a spin on greener-grass-talk. It’s not a new trend, but it has only been multiplied by the autonomy that is twitter and blogging. It now means that the analysis of the next Ronaldo, is more absolute, as it is unchecked by an editor. It means that even comments in jest reach our ears. Neymar is even more of the next Pele than Ronaldo was in terms of hype, but wrongfully so. He is now also judged more harshly than Ronaldo at his age was, but wrongfully. He is a victim. A consequence of our growing hunger to label a player as one or the other. So while he may be good, the lauders fawn too much such that he becomes an ideal detached from reality. The detractors meanwhile recoil and riposte that there are at least 20,000 players better than him in history.

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