Neymar is brilliant. Full stop. The second goal in the 3-0 win in the Confed Cup against Spain (Link Here) was an act of brilliance.
It was an act of brilliance more for his spatial awareness in springing the offside trap, than of the instinctive goalscorer’s ability in rifling the shot past Casillas. Check it on youtube. Notice how he goes into a blatantly offside position for a split second, and then returns onside right before Oscar’s pass. That offside caper was pulled to distract the defenders and momentarily allow them to relax. And at the top level, the difference between success and failure are these split seconds. Brilliant.
And now to this article. This is from Irish Times (Link here). While it is a good one, about the impact of the showbiz on the modern day sporting hero, there is a paragraph in the piece that I have a bone to pick with. Here:
Neymar may not feel he has much use for moral authority. He’s just a young footballer having a good time. You just hope he understands that every time he does another ad, he sells off another little piece of himself.
This is wrong. It is an opinion,a socialist opinion, which does not need the definite didactic tone. To add, it is an opinion that is not agreed with by the majority of the sports fans, seemingly.
We live in the world where opinions are forced upon us by the media. We live in a world where we are given to understand by the media that sports has sold its soul to the lucre. And we are never given the counterpoint that for professionals, it is a job. It is a job the professional likes to do; loves to do, even; but it’s still a job. it’s not a weekend kickabout.
The retort that I have to this writer is that I hope he understands that every time Neymar kicks a football in a match, or every time he dribbles past an opposition player, he is also selling off another little piece of himself.
We are happy to buy that latter piece of himself that he is selling. And by all means, it seems that we are not entirely reluctant to see what he has to offer of the former. Why should Neymar sell only what a newspaperman wants to buy?
Neymar’s name in the pantheon of greats would be determined by what he does on the field (he is far from being one yet, but he has potential). And it should be nobody’s concern what he does with brand Neymar. That’s his business. Just like it is nobody’s business what Pele has done with Brand Pele. A footballer is not an imbecile in need of superior guidance.