Neymar Has the Keys to the Kingdom of Messi

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When Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi injured his knee playing against Las Palmas in late September, Barcelona needed someone else to take responsibility for unlocking defences in La Liga. They didn’t have to look very far to find the answer.


Since joining the Catalan giants in the summer of 2013, many observers have been quick to state that Brazilian superstar Neymar has yet to live up to his billing as one of the world’s great players. The past two months has changed all that, with the 23-year-old becoming the new darling of the Camp Nou crowd in the absence of Messi, almost single handily dragging his team to the top of the La Liga standings to convince any remaining doubters as to the ability of this wonderful footballer. Having scored 11 goals in 10 domestic appearances so far this season, Neymar has been in electrifying form in front of goal with last Sunday’s masterful finish against Villarreal, the best of the lot. If there was ever a doubt surrounding this young man becoming one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, the first quarter of the new Spanish league season has simply silenced them for good.


Former Barcelona legend Rivaldo, has added his considerable weight behind the Neymar fan club. The Brazilian, who spent five years himself enchanting the supporters in the stands at the Camp Nou, believes that his fellow countryman should even be crowned the new world footballer of the year stating that; “I’m so pleased to see him playing for Barcelona in the number 11 shirt that I also wore and I’m not sure if there is a better player in 2015 than him. With respect to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he deserves to be crowned the best in the world.”


With Messi unlikely to be fit for the biggest game in European football against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in two-week’s time, Neymar will have the chance to be the main man on the main stage with the eyes of the world watching. Not that pressure of this kind is anything new to the Brazilian, having carried the weight of a country on his shoulders in his home World Cup in 2014. In a game that is normally billed as the battle between the two best players in the world, Ronaldo and Messi, there’s a new kid in town in 2015 who, if he manages to repeat some of the heroics he’s demonstrated over the past couple of months, may be able to unlock the door and sit on the throne in the Kingdom of Messi.


Real Madrid 2.15 Draw 3.60 Barcelona 3.10

*odds courtesy of Bet365

Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)