Just a short while ago Neymar’s agent went on a rant and drawled that Neymar should end his career at Real Madrid.
While, the reason for Neymar’ agent to divulge that matter must have had something to do with Neymar’s tax problems in Brazil where his assets were frozen following some investigation but here are the top three reasons why Neymar would have been great at Real Madrid:
Neymar is a player whose dribbling skills are riveting
Neymar doesn’t just dribble when the situation demands it, he dribbles because that is the only way he knows how to play.
That skill which is fast becoming ‘endangered species’ in European football is the reason why Neymar would have been a perfect fit for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, for all its flaws, has been the home of unconventional players for decades now. From Roberto Carlos to David Beckham, Real Madrid have always signed players who are not just good at playing football. It craftily plucks players who can bring to the team, something which no other player can.
Neymar is the kind of player who brings something no other player can, in his position of course. Neymar’s world class dribbling skills along with refined shooting technique with both feet makes him the kind of flair player Brazil is known for producing year after year.
It is beyond question that Neymar has ended up at the wrong club. Barcelona is a club that puts results first, style later.
Lately, Barcelona has been lucky enough to have both, but it still isn’t like Real Madrid in the sense that, at Real Madrid, whatever happens, style comes first.
Coaches who got results without style all ended up in the recycle bin (notable examples are of Mourinho, Schuster, Capello) and it would be no different in case of Benitez come the end of the season.
At Real Madrid, players like Neymar are valued more than anyplace else in the world. The bernabeu crowd is prone to player like Neymar who can dazzle the crowd with both feet and that too with consistency.
Playing with flair is something that is in-built in Neymar. Barcelona’s system is more suited to Messi’s strengths rather than individual skills.
Neymar’s Speed And Agility on the field is amongst the finest in European football
Neymar isn’t just fast without the ball. He is a speed demon with the ball at his feet. And it’s not the kind of speed that someone like Valencia has.Valencia is a player who has great speed but that speed is limited to two scenarios.
The first scenario is when there is a massive amount of space behind the defense. Valencia can run into that pace by knocking the ball a mile in front of him.
The second scenario is when a player has to run from point A to point B in a straight line. Valencia (along with other players like Walcott and Raheem Sterling) can run fast like a sprinter does.
But football is not about sprinting otherwise Manchester United would have signed Usain Bolt long time ago . On the other hand, Neymar just doesn’t have speed.
Neymar has speed of thought, speed of play, speed of change in direction and speed of taking a shot at the right moment.
The quality of doing things quickly is something that enchants Real Madrid hierarchy and the Bernabeu crowd. Barcelona is different.
At Barcelona, even players who don’t have elite physical attributes get recognized easily. Players like Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol are legends at Barcelona. Had they played for Real Madrid, they would have been bracketed with the likes of Guti, Salgado and Steve Mcmanaman.
And besides, Real Madrid is a club that likes to score goal on the break, with speed and clinical finishing. Without much tikki-takka and all that nonsense stuff Barcelona was notorious for, specially under the commandership of Guardiola.
At Real Madrid, Neymar would have been able to utilize his greatest asset (that is his speed) with little hindrance. Real Madrid’s midfield would have facilitated Neymar rather than bog him down with short passing and not enough ‘playing football’.
Ronaldo and Bale, both have been a success at Real Madrid simply because Real Madrid plays in a system that allows them to run with the ball on the wings (or through the middle if they like) and terrorize defenses across Europe.
Barcelona’s system is, what Messi wants it to be. It can be fast but mostly, it’s much more measured and thoughtful than Real Madrid. That may be great for getting result, but does little to provide the kind of game people pay to see.
At Real Madrid, the philosophy is to satisfy the crowd who pays a reasonable amount of money to watch the club play football.
Neymar’s qualities with the ball and his persona off the field are mostly in line with that is required at Real Madrid. That is, entertaining and electric.
Neymar’s directness with the ball at his feet
If Neymar gets the ball on the wings and sees a defender all by himself in a position where he shouldn’t be, then Neymar would take him on without giving it a second thought. That honesty which creates opportunities for teams to score goals and create danger is an asset and a precious one.
One reason why Ronaldo’s stock has been dropping at Real Madrid is because he has abandoned directness in his play and now plays to purely rack up goal after goal, match after match. That obviously, doesn’t hurt Real Madrid. Not one bit.
But people expect more from Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid paid an astronomical amount of money for his signature not just because he was a prolific goal scorer but because he could do so much more with the ball at his feet.
Neymar doesn’t fool around with the ball much when there is an opportunity to take someone one. The Brazilian Ronaldo, even though not as prolific as C.Ronaldo, was revered much more simply because of the directness of his play.
Neymar, his countrymen, comes from the same neck of the woods and has that same attitude towards the game that the great Brazilian had before him. Neymar scored over thirty five goals last season and the percentage of goals that were scored solely because of his directness was astounding.
There is a time to hope, time to pass and a time to take matters in your own hands to make an impact. Neymar balances all three like no other.
Despite Neymar’s unquestionable talents, Barcelona continues to hound him with silly disputes in contract talks. Not to mention the trouble Neymar has had to go through because of the legal mess Barcelona made when dealing with his initial transfer.
Neymar is a player who was made to play at Real Madrid but ended up at Barcelona because of Real Madrid’s incompetence in the transfer market.
There is still time nevertheless. Neymar wouldn’t be the first player in history to switch from Barcelona to Real Madrid after all.