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Neymar has something to prove, and the World Cup in Qatar is the best place to do it

The money from Qatar made Neymar the most expensive footballer in history, a status he still holds. If there is a World Cup to be the absolute star at, then the one in Qatar has to be it.

Many experts consider Brazil to be the main favorite for the World Cup in Qatar, and one of the reasons is the incredible quality of the attack that Tite has at his disposal: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid), Antony (Manchester United), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Pedro (Flamengo), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal). Above all, Neymar, is still the man on whom Brazil depends the most if the Selecao will get their first supreme title in 20 years and the sixth in their history.

Neymar is preparing to play in the third World Cup of his career, and perhaps the most important. The feeling is that in Qatar he also benefits from a team that he can really lead to great triumph. For now, his peak in the national jersey remains the Olympic title won on home soil, in Rio in 2016, to fill the only empty space in Brazil’s record. At this year’s edition of the World Cup, the Brazilian “ten” also has the chance to become the best scorer in the history of the Selecao. Only two goals separate him from the all-time leader, Pele, and, unless something unforeseen happens, he will almost certainly leave the final tournament at least as equal to “O Rey”.

Unlike previous appearances, Neymar arrives at the World Cup in excellent form. After a not very quiet summer, in which there was talk of some misunderstandings with Kylian Mbappe and a possible departure from PSG, the Brazilian responded with exceptional performances. At the season break for the Qatar tournament, his numbers speak volumes for the level at which he has been playing: 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. t is the confirmation that, when he sees exclusively football, Neymar remains a decisive player. This is what Roberto Carlos, the left back of Brazil’s last national team that won the world title in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, also advises him.

“For Neymar, the most important thing is that he doesn’t care or pay attention to what people say about him off the pitch. He has to give his best and that’s all. If he wins, he will be the best. If he loses, the criticism will come. They have to accept that this is football,” said Roberto Carlos

The only constant in Neymar’s career is pressure. Ever since he was just a promise at Santos he had to manage it. He had to bring back the glory of Pele’s club. He then transferred to FC Barcelona, ​​where he had to live up to Leo Messi. When he was bought from PSG for 222 million euros in 2017, he was expected to lead the Parisians to the holy grail of football: the Champions League trophy. In 2014, at his first World Cup, played in Brazil, the whole country wanted him to be the leader of the national team to forget the famous failure on home soil in 1950. His tournament ended when Colombia’s Juan Zuniga took a knee behind him. That of the Selecao, when Germany had no mercy and won 7-1 in Belo Horizonte. Four years later, in Russia, Neymar could not prevent the gold and green national team from being knocked out in the quarter-finals by Belgium, led by Eden Hazard in colossal form.

Perhaps the World Cup in Qatar is not the “Last Dance” for Neymar. After all, he is 30 years old and there are enough examples of today’s footballers extending their careers to ages that seemed unattainable in the past. But it could be Neymar’s last real chance to get his hands on the world title. It is his main goal for this year. “I don’t want to let this World Cup slip away. I don’t want to miss this opportunity. I did everything possible to prepare myself for her, physically and mentally. It’s my biggest dream at the moment and I’m focused on winning this title,” he declared some time ago. 

There are many questions about Neymar that still await answers. A few might get them at the World Cup in Qatar.

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