Home / Champions League / Neymar Stepping It Up Without Messi

 
Neymar and Suarez carrying Barca

Image: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB

Lionel Messi has not played for Barcelona in over a month now, yet Barcelona has still been winning matches without the brilliant Argentine. It’s always one thing to replace a star player for any amount of time, but losing arguably the best player in the world for a month? That’s near impossible. However, with Messi being out, Neymar has decided that he wants to be seen with a little more respect. The tricky Brazilian has been shouldering some of that massive weight Messi carries when he plays for Barcelona. With the entire world watching, Neymar has started to make the case that he could be that 3rd best player in the world behind Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

In last night’s Champions League match against BATE Borisov, Neymar sprinted down the field in the 28th minute and won a penalty that he took ever so calmly and fooled the keeper even before he touched the ball. He bagged a brace in the 83rd minute to solidify the 3-0 win.

For the last month, Neymar has been one of the most reliable attacking players in the world by scoring or assisting in every match he has played in since October 3rd.  In that time frame, Neymar has earned 6 of his 7 assists so far this season, as well as 8 of his 13 Barcelona goals. If that isn’t picking up the slack then I don’t know what is.

Neymar has been seen as one of the better younger players in the world of soccer for almost 3 years now and I think he is ready for us to stop thinking of him as young. We could very well be seeing a glimpse of the future of Barcelona. As hard is it is to think about, Messi will not always be wearing the famous red and blue stripes. Neymar came to Barcelona to become a legend and I believe this is the start that could propel Neymar into the same category of Messi and Ronaldo. When Messi and Ronaldo and Ronaldo do hang up their boots, Neymar is my choice for whom I believe will be the best player in the world.

Neymar has a few more big matches coming up including the always-massive El Clasico fixture on the 21st. That could be the match that finally catches everyone’s attention if the flashy Brazilian is the difference. Of course, Barcelona cannot overlook Villareal this Sunday.  Neymar will surely get on the score sheet or assist Suarez with the incredible form he is in.

Can Neymar keep his fine form up? Let us know what you think by dropping your thoughts down below.

 

About the author: Hunter York

 

To say I am a soccer fan would be an understatement. I love the beautiful game and more specifically I love watching the Premier League! I am a die-hard Manchester City fan (yes, before the massive takeover). Winning the league two of the last three seasons is a pretty great feeling (also watching United fall)! I am working on my Marketing and Business management double major at Lipscomb University at the moment. Even with school, my free time is spent reviewing boots and writing for the Instep! Google+

 

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