How does Barcelona react to losing in the Champions League semifinals? By bringing Neymar to the Camp Nou for the next five years, of course.
On paper it would seem to be a dream to pair Neymar with Lionel Messi, but as we’ve seen plenty of times in soccer more can often ends up equaling much less when you put it on the field together. This kind of splashy move seems more in line with something Barcelona’s eternal rival’s Real Madrid — which also made a bid for Neymar — would do.
That’s clearly the cynical look at the move, Neymar and Messi could pair and form an unstoppable combination, think Shaolin Shadowboxing teaming with the Wu-Tang sword style, giving us something we’ve never seen before on a soccer field.
Either way the 21-year-old YouTube star will certainly sell a boatload of jerseys, and likely please Barcelona’s growing Qatari backers, but is it the right move for the club? Scoring goals hasn’t exactly been an issue for the Catalans, as they’ve tallied 144 times in 55 games during this La Liga-winning campaign. Considering who Neymar is and what he’s represented the last couple years, this is a move soccer fans will be talking about all summer — especially since the move to Barcelona represents the first chance most people will get to see him play other than on Internet highlight reels.
Neymar had said he wanted to wait to move to Europe until after the 2014 World Cup, but his contract expired with Santos and the club needed to cash in while it still could. The Brazilian will join the La Liga winners after next month’s Confederations Cup.
As we’ve seen, Barcelona’s recent transfer activity hasn’t been anything to write home about. Plus, nobody knows if Neymar’s dribbling, one-on-one game will translate when he crosses the Atlantic. At the same time, you’d have thought Barcelona would’ve made shoring up its defense the top priority of the summer and finding some understudies for Xavi or Andres Iniesta, rather than bringing in a player who’ll need to see a lot of the ball — perhaps slowing down their precise tika-taka passing style — like Neymar could do.
Granted, when you can bring in a player with the sizzle and pizzazz of Neymar, it overshadows almost everything else.
Maybe they were seduced by all the video clips like everybody else:
The skills, if only in YouTube form, are indeed incredible.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once famously called Messi, “a PlayStation.” Perhaps Neymar will be an XBox.
[Photo via Getty]