Many people take Neymar for face value. He's a slight Brazilian footballer that wants to emulate Pele. However, is Neymar just the boy that idolizes Pele or does he have a darker side that the public doesn't see?
Four years ago, nobody had heard of Neymar. But as soon as he became an internet sensation, everyone went Neymar crazy. You can see why. His goals compilation are good enough to rival Ronaldo. (The fat Brazilian one, not Cristiano.) At only 20-years-old this is extraordinary and if he's going to become the world's best, he needs to carry on scoring Brazilian wonder goals.
Neymar is starting to become known in Brazil for a celebration that he performed in 2011. He scored in the Copa Libertadores against Colo Colo and everyone in the Santos crowd put on a mask of their hero. Neymar then took one of the masks off Robinho and paraded around the pitch wearing it upside down. You can't help but think, Pele wouldn't have done this. Maradona yes, but not Pele.
There has been much debate on whether Neymar should move to Europe or not. FourFourTwo magazine recently did an interview with Neymarin which he was quoted saying that he 'always wanted to be a professional footballer like Pele.'
If so he'll want to stay in Brazil for the foreseeable future and he won't be making the move to Europe at all. With the Brazilian league now flourishing after expensive television deals and sponsorships, Neymar has no reason to leave Brazil. Some might argue that his development will be hampered but it didn't do Pele any harm.
Neymar's attitude is typical for a hyped up superstar. Unlike Messi, Neymar acts like he's good. Messi goes about his business so humbly and modestly. You don't see Messi in the headlines for womanizing and partying. In 2011 Neymar fathered a child with a 17-year-old girl. He was said to be tearful at the birth but Neymar was not in a relationship with the child's mother and did not start one after the baby was born.
Neymar's also not afraid to get his kit off. Underwear shoots and parading around the pitch in his underwear at full time. You'd think a player of Neymar's standing would be more reserved. However at 20-years-old you can't really blame him. He's still learning and has time to mature. But he'll have to grow up soon as the whole World is now watching his every move.
His international career started in 2010. He's scored nine goals in 18 games for the national side and with the 2014 World Cup in his home country, Neymar looks to take centre stage. There's no doubting Neymar will be picked by Mano Menezes but he'll still have to perform at a very high standard if he want to show the World how good he is. Neymar told FourFourTwo "It's my dream to win the World Cup at home." To really emulate Pele there's only one thing he can do; Win the World Cup.
Everyone would love Neymar at their club. However, even people that haven't watched Neymar, say he's amazing and he's the next big thing. Some only watch his YouTube videos and say he's better than Messi. This gives Neymar so much more pressure because they expect him to play the way he plays on YouTube. One can only express an opinion on Neymar if they've watched him for Santos. Whatever you think of Neymar, the potential is clearly there. Will he live up to the hype? Only Neymar can decide.