The wait is over, and the best player who has yet to play in a European league has now jumped that hurdle, as Barcelona & Santos have come to agreement on the transfer of Neymar from Brazil to Spain, meaning that the huge expectations for next season just got greater with the prospect of watching the young star playing on the same team with Lionel Messi.
For those who don’t like to think about tactics and practicality, the idea of having Neymar and Messi play together 50 times a season sounds magical. Messi has been the best player in the world, or if you want to get down to more objective terms, the most efficient scorer in the world for the last couple of season, scoring 133 goals in 110 matches, setting a few record that might not be broken for a very long time.
Neymar? Oh, he won the Copa Libertadores and looked more and more bored with the ease of playing in Brazil, coming up with new tricks to taunt his defenders (getting clipped for it a few times) and scoring 136 goals in his 224 matches for the club. Now, he’s going to try and take his diving antics to a place they’ll receive a lot more air time, and a lot more criticism should his ways not change.
It came down to Real Madrid and Barcelona, but Barca won with an offer of €50 million to the team and DIS, while Neymar himself will sign a five year deal worth €7 million a season. His arrival surely means that one of the forwards on the current Barcelona roster will say goodbye to the team, with Alexis Sanchez and David Villa looking like the favorites to be heading towards a different path.
And how will this work? It will, somehow. Both Messi and Neymar usually play in the central role of the attack, although Messi leads it in a more retreated role. How does Tito Vilanova work it out between the two talents remains to be seen, but we’ll probably see one of them moves to the wing, at least for tactical purposes. With the ball, it’ll surely look a lot more fluid than on paper.
With this kind of signing, Barcelona make the first major move to solidify their status as the top team in Spain, while hoping to retain their status as the best team in Europe. Adding Neymar, who might need some time to become the star many think he already is, isn’t enough when the main problem was a leaky defense. What is for sure, adding such a player wins votes for the general elections, and sells a lot more shirts than anyone else might have had, which is sometimes just as important as winning matches, especially when he comes at such a price tag.