Pick your nickname, aka “Say hello to La Neymarrrr!”

neymar baby

After all of that vacillation, the reason Neymar chose Barcelona is ultimately clear: babies. After the baby boom within our player ranks, and knowing how those baby folks stick together, it only makes sense that the Brazilian footballer everybody wants, chose Barça.

To say that there was a planet of BS associated with this transfer would be an understatement. As we all know by now, word broke earlier this season of a 10m payment for “future considerations,” that became knows as putting La Neymarrrr on layaway. News began to break of a deal already done, and a 40m mutual penalty should either side have backed out of the deal.

Then today, it was crazy. Fathers storming off, accusing Santos of running auctions and not standing for it, Barça dealmakers “deciding” to hang around, rumored 100m bids from RM rolling in and then finally, a missive from Santos, saying that they had received two bids, ours and another team that eventually became known to be RM.

The father said that a decision was to come on Friday. Friday turned into Saturday. The player and his entourage arrived at the offices of Santos, to the awaiting fans and officials. They met. They emerged. Daddy Neymar said “No decision has been reached. We cannot decide in the heat of the moment.” So there ya go, as the saga dragged on and the crew left for home to make a decision that could take hours, or it could take days, said La Neymarrrr.

On Twitter, BarcaTheOffside said it was like someone took the Fabregas saga, compressed the time frame then decided to make it stupid.

Euler likened it to Japanese Noh theater, with masks, layered meanings and intent. Which is very true. You can only admire the entertainment, which is ultimately what it was. People mulled, fretted and worried, even as anyone with a shard of grounded sense knew that the deal, or at least a framework, had been in place for probably a year at least.

As it all came to a rather silly head late Friday night, jokes flew. Saturday came, and with it the revelation that everyone expected, which was the reason that our lawyer stayed, even after everyone in His entourage had left: La Neymarrrr went to Santos’ grounds not to make any sort of statement, but to sign the contract. And, after the real, actual announcement on Saturday evening, revealing the worst-kept secret that I can remember, Neymar is now officially a Barça player.

Terms are still shady, and will be for perpetuity. Most say we got him for less than 30m. Does that include the mystery 10m? Dunno. RoSELL does, and he isn’t saying. 5-year deal, with a contract in the 7m per annum range, putting him in that third tier of players, unless my memory fails me. Either way, if the number is in fact 30m, that is an exceptional bit of business by the club.

What made him decide to come to Barça? We might never know. Was it the opportunity to test himself against the greatest player ever? Probably, along with a lot of other stuff, such as possibility of starting soonest, and other factors.

And I laid claim to a bunch of nicknames on Twitter, from La Neymarrrr to Stepover and Peacock. Then somebody owned my ass with My Little Pony and I had to go sit in the corner, to mull how cruel Fate can be.

The RM bid rumor fluctuated between 35 and 65m, and who knows if it was even real, or just something pro forma that they put in so that they could tell their supporters “Hey, we tried.” Or maybe it was us, trolling the world so that we could make cules feel good by this bidding war being a Classic that we won, dammit. And the headlines can read, “Neymar chooses Barcelona over Real Madrid,” and cules can stick out their chests.

Or so a cynical old bastard might say.

At any rate, we have us a football player, for some amount of money more than a Euro, and less than 50 million Euros. What will it mean, how he will perform and what effect he will have on us moving forward, who knows. But there will be loads of speculation. Apparently the official deal will be announced on the first day of the transfer window, so until them, it will be unofficially official.

Details still to come, and will shake themselves out in the comments.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

73 Comments

  1. Nav
    May 25, 2013

    Excited about this purchase. Hopefully he bulks up a little bit, adds an extra dimension to our attack, takes a bit of pressure off of Messi, and generally kills it against Madrid.

    • blaze0fglory
      May 25, 2013

      I am looking at big changes. A new keeper though I am a valdes fan. A centreback… A real one. Not a df midfielder please.

      Look at how dynamic our left side has become. Alba Alexis neymar. I believe alexis should shift to the right wing. And Alves or Adriano stay back

    • PrinceYuvi
      May 26, 2013

      NEYMAR SNUBBED EE & THAT MADE ME REAL HAPPY LIKE.

  2. blaze0fglory
    May 25, 2013

    Looking at our misfiring strikers we needed a striker. I wonder what’ll be our formation next season. Alexis on the wings.

    4-1-3-2 or 4-4-2

    This is possible with Messi and Neymar spearheading the attack.
    Clearly villa leaves the club.

    4-3-1-2

    Messi the false number 9. Neymar/ Alexis and Pedro upfront

    4-1-2-2-1

    2 Wingers and messi

    • blaze0fglory
      May 25, 2013

      Or maybe an ambitious 3-2-3-2

      Pique adriano
      Busquets song
      Iniesta xavi fabregas
      Neymar Messi

  3. nia
    May 26, 2013

    Does this mean Bojan is not coming back? 😉 kkk

    Jokes aside, I think this could be a good signing. Although now it seems to be a bit overload on the left with Alba, Iniesta and Neymar. Maybe Alexis, Thiago and Alves on the right is not a bad combo after all. Hope to see Tito mix it up more next season as we have very good players in the front line. Neymar, Messi, Pedro, Alexis, Tello, Delofeu, Villa?, oh and Cesc, almost forgot we had him.

    Since Neymar is our player now, hope he adapts well just like ‘squirrel’ did and show people that he’s not a youtube player. Now all we need is a REAL CENTRE BACK!!! or two . I hope Tito subscribes to BFB.

    • Nav
      May 26, 2013

      A quick and pacey CB with a solid positional sense and we will have a very strong team for next season IMO. The other parts of the team that needs to be worked on are fitness, a solid rotation policy, and not turning into FC Clownelona whenever we are attacked in numbers.

  4. Dani_el
    May 26, 2013

    He’s ours now, so I hope he grows up to be a great asset for us. The kid’s got some skills, and with the help of our team I hope he matures and stays mentally strong to overcome any obstacle. Watching Messi’s first goal with us, with a Ronaldinho assist I hope they, and the whole team, get along beautifully in the pitch.
    I’m hoping for a new centerback and a new keeper.
    Why LaNeymar Kxevin? I didn’t get the new nickname…
    Thanks for this article 🙂

  5. bhed
    May 26, 2013

    Nice piece. We needed another goal scorer, who can play the system, and he seems a likely choice. I think the baby thing might have actually been a factor too!

  6. enstil
    May 26, 2013

    amarzing neymar in collabration with unstoppable messi n punishable pedro wil be de best forward ever as well as football is concern.wht a great signing by barca bt left wid defender.

  7. adopted cule
    May 26, 2013

    I feel very disconnected from this last season for many reasons, but chief among them the inability to watch games, but putting the ball in the back of the net didn’t seem to be the problem that needed addressing.

    I got to watch the final today, which was nice. I believe both Pep and Bayern are making a bad mistake. Bayern win by overwhelming their opponent with talent, size, and pace. Pep orchestrated a completely different kind of animal at Barcelona. I wish him well, but I do not like what I saw of Bayern today and can’t understand what compelled Pep to leave Barcelona for that particular combination of talent.

    • G6O
      May 26, 2013

      He didn’t leave us for them, he left us and then he evaluated his options.

      • adopted cule
        May 26, 2013

        I understand that. It is his choice that confuses me. Bayern in many ways seems the antithesis of Barcelona. This is what eludes me.

      • adopted cule
        May 26, 2013

        In addition, I am concerned about his decision to leave in the first place. I thought it was less about Pep and more about Rosell, but Pep’s decision to go to Bayern makes me rethink that theory.

        • Jim
          May 26, 2013

          Agreed. Strange decision for me. Successful old(ish) team relying on pace and strength. Never thought it was about Rosell.

    • Nav
      May 26, 2013

      Maybe he wanted a different challenge.

      I do agree with you about Bayern’s style though, which is why I also think they will not dominate for long because their kind of play relies too heavily on physicality.

      • Messiah10
        May 26, 2013

        IMHO I believe Pep going to Bayern will be bad news for the rest of the footballing planet. Can you imagine that team with the ability to keep possession and harry the opposing center halves and backs? Scary! Javi Martinez has what it takes to become the next Xavi. Schweinsteiger is essentially Busi. You have Goetze coming and becoming the false 9. The back line is incredibly good. If they remove a piece and add a piece here and there they could become a unstoppable dynasty. 3 finals in 4 years isn’t bad either. True, some of their players are aging, but they have the rotator belt known as the German youth development program to produce oozles of talent for them to cherry pick from. I’m scared, but this Neymar acquisition just made me fret a little less!

        • Jim
          May 27, 2013

          I think my point was that they won’t be able to do that. You can’t just tell a team to keep possession. It’s one of the hardest skills around. To me they’ve shown no signs of being able to do that particularly well.

          Haven’t watchd them that much but was also not particularly impressed by Dante.

  8. Jafri
    May 26, 2013

    So I haven’t seen any santos games, but the neymar highlights I saw on YouTube showed him excelling against defenses that were a shambles. I don’t know whether he caused that or it’s an indictment on the Brazilian defending quality, but it was painful to watch him being bossed around by the English defense in that feb game. He is definitely more used to running into space than breaking a bus or dealing with disciplined defenders.

    So, what are we expecting from him? I haven’t seen too much that suggests he can do tight one twos in a packed box and score. He’s got fancy moves out on the wing, but the potential of how big a bust this could be is worrying me.

    • Messiah10
      May 26, 2013

      Great point. That’s why I think it’s important to remember he’s just a kid, with gobs of talent, but we MUST give him time to adjust to the standard of play that is Europe. Tim Vickery, BBC writer in Brazil has talked endlessly about the necessity for him to move so he can adjust to defenses giving little space in time for the WC. Santos HAD to sell him or risk losing him for nothing. The investors who owned something like 40% of him wanted their money too. So, he was going this year to somebody. I’m just glad it’s us. When he adapts and learns our system he and Messi will be a FORCE!

  9. Jafri
    May 26, 2013

    So it seems that either Barcelona win the champions league, or the team that beats them in the semis does. This was the sixth season in a row that happened.

  10. 86ed
    May 26, 2013

    I sincerely hope Neymar succeeds. I have grave doubts that he will, and personally think it’s a mistake, but he does deserve a year to prove himself.

    • Rivaldo
      May 26, 2013

      Man he deserves more than a year… why do we have these short time spans and are so pessimistic. Gosh Xavi took a good while to establish himself, so did Iniesta, so did Puyol. Trust me when i say these players wern’t the world beaters they are today. Players like Thiago and Neymar are tremendous for their age. I think it’s just people have now seen Messi and expect everyone to. What if Bale now 23 years wasn’t given a chance… there were people ready to give up on him too.

      I am happy about Neymar. I am happy about Alexis. I hope to be happy about Thiago; to me to should be a no-brainer. Don’t know if it’s just all noise.
      I will be happy about a strong, pacy, top defender… or a gem of a find (defender) with a left foot… maybe both.

      • 86ed
        May 26, 2013

        Unlike Xavi, Iniesta, and Puyol, however, he comes for considerably more money and with considerably more hype, and consequently considerably more is expected of him. This is what this profession has always had and will continue to have, and it’s up to Neymar to prove himself. He will be handsomely rewarded whether he succeeds or not.
        A year is all he’ll get, believe you me, if it is demonstrated he cannot cut the mustard when we need him, and then the wolves will circle like they did for Sanchez and Ibra before him. So it has been and so it will continue to be. It’s the risk we run by placing so high a pricetag on so young a man with so little experience coming to us from so weak a league.
        I think we would have been better off with a Lewandowski-type player for the attack (even a Benzema would work) and heavy investments in defense, but this board and this coach cannot see further than what they have been indoctrinated in, the insistence with small players in a world where the small player is being weeded out.

        • Obii
          May 26, 2013

          Is investment in a kid of 12-16, with the hope that he turns into a valuable asset when he is 25 not more of an investment than one being talked about in Neymar’s case? You wait for 9 to 12 years with JUST hope. A failed signing can be sold on for a minimal loss. A failed youth product fetches FAR less, not even taking into consideration the fact that he may have blocked off someone who could have stepped up to the plate.

          Neymar will not be given just a year, just as Sanchez was not given just a year. The only reason Ibra was given just a year was because he was an ass-hat.

          I wont even get into the latter half of your 3rd paragraph. I just disagree.

          • 86ed
            May 26, 2013

            What do you disagree with? That we need defenders? That this coach and the board of directors is convinced that everything is a-OK now that Adriano extended? I’m just making it up since I don’t know what you disagree with.

        • G6O
          May 26, 2013

          Barcastuff posted this inforgraphic, which is quite relevant given that we just had this discussion last week:

          https://twitter.com/BarcaStat/status/338477506971721728/photo/1

          Pretty much everyone in the current team reached their current heights only in their mid-20s. Neymar should be given time and I think he will be. The club seems to have learned from its mistakes from a few years ago with Krkic and Giovanni Dos Santos, you see youth players being very slowly integrated into the team, the way Iniesta was in the mid-2000s.

        • Messiah10
          May 26, 2013

          I’m not sure what Obii disagres with, but what I do is your statement that small players are being weeded out. What about Mata, Silva(M.C.), Oscar, Isco, etc, etc, etc. Small players are being recognized as are tall players and that’s for technical skill and intelligence. You don’t have to be Thong Boy to play footie. I would suggest giving Tito and the board some time to make more signings and then at least 10 games next season so we can see WHAT their direction will be. Until then, we are just speculating. Neymar is a wonderful player who will need time to adapt and adjust to less space & more pace than he’s used to, not to mention the cultural differences he will go through moving to Barcelona. I’m willing to give him 4 years to develop his game and become a world beater.

          • Obii
            May 26, 2013

            “latter half of your third paragraph”

            I disagree with your assumption that small players = bad idea.

      • Messiah10
        May 26, 2013

        Completely agree Rivaldo. Xavi and Puyol weren’t world class by any means when they made their way to the starting 11. It takes time to develop into a world class player. Messi is a one of a kind player.

  11. May 26, 2013

    From the Santos statement:

    “Due to the confidentiality agreement, and by mutual agreement, the terms of the transfer will not be disclosed by any of the parties.”

    Oh I SEE. Not shady at ALL, this deal.

  12. lyd
    May 26, 2013

    Delighted with the arrival of The Martian.

    Wish him all the best that this great FC Barcelona has to offer.

  13. barca96
    May 26, 2013

    Hopefully they won’t piss of the Alcantara camp any further by taking the #11 away from him, after Cesc took his #4 previously.

    • May 26, 2013

      Thiago is sponsored by Nike. Neymar is sponsored by Nike. Thiago can say goodbye to his number 11.

  14. barca96
    May 26, 2013

    Alves just got the green light and is already starting a match. Montoya relegated to the bench. But the biggest shocker is Bartra being left out of the squad. He can’t even be a back up for a tired Pique or sMasch who like Alves just came back from injury.

    • lyd
      May 26, 2013

      This was my expected line-up:

      37-7-9
      8-25-11
      18/19-14-15-19/2

      No Bartra, damn! But at least Thiago starts.

  15. Xavi6
    May 26, 2013

    How are Barta and Montoya not starting the match ??

    The performance of the coaching stuff is miserable , couldnot believe it When Roura said it was not their job to check contracts (relating to Thiago’s condition)

    • barca96
      May 26, 2013

      Wow. That is really irresponsible of Roura and his friends. However irregardless of the contract situation, it looks like Tito and co. don’t really think that Thiago is ready to start regularly nor play in big matches.

      • Messiah10
        May 26, 2013

        It’s not Tito’s or Roura’s job to check his contract. That’s what a Director of Football or Club President is for. Then, they should inform the manager or interim coach. Please don’t put this on Roura.

  16. ElJefe
    May 26, 2013

    This should fun fellas. Make no mistake the team in the last 3 years has been the best in our recent history, by far the deepest (i.e. no Oleguer’s). But the most FUN squad was watching Ronaldinho and Messi together. I’m looking forward to watching the show. Add Alves and Adriano and we now have both the Spanish and Brazilian national squads making up our team…that can’t be too bad.

    I was expecting a geo-thermonuclear war of Falcao going to Real Madrid but now he’s with Monaco I’ll be interested to see what they do. Shocking move by Falcao in my mind, i thought he had more gumption than that to test himself against the best.

    Now on to goalie…VISCA!

    • barca96
      May 26, 2013

      Re: Falcao, if I am not mistaken, Falcao’s deal has a lot to do with the 3rd party.

    • Jackieboy
      May 26, 2013

      Scrap that, it was actually Villa not Cesc.

  17. Doug
    May 26, 2013

    Wow – not sure how Villa missed that sitter.

  18. Xingxian
    May 26, 2013

    Someone ostensibly from Brazil posted this on a message board, not sure how truthful it is but it was nice to read. Wanted to share it on twitter but didn’t know how to do so well in under 140 characters.

    So here goes copy and paste for anyone who might enjoy:


    Ok… I’m not here to defend Neymar. I actually think he will flop overseas.
    BUT. I find your misinformation very troublesome and moronic. The info I’m about to sum up are ACTUAL FACTS based on official releases of Santos, Neymar, Barca and a few back information that are confirmed by the most resputable sports sources in Brazil, and not denied by any official party.

    Neymar had a “gentlemens deal” with Barca since last (northern) summer. Basically: “WHEN I’m to go abroad, I’ll warn you and give you preference”. He always wanted to play for Barca for many reasons that can be discussed later.
    Neymar always said that when he would go abroad that he would give one last dime for them. He would never go for free for his respect for the team. Are those words lies? I dunno. He offcially said it and there’s no denying. I could actually link you to source but… fuck no. Too much trouble.
    Now… Since Barca last CL defeat I believe (That’s my opinion here) that they’ve been trying to find ways to maintain their uber strenght without losing their characteristics. Without having to comprimise with having to not use Messi as a false 9. They need better wingers. Not only that, in the rare case that Messi were to get injured (as the CL final matches case), they could get a replecement of same characteristics (not quality) of Messi. There’s been some 2010 leaked Barca reports that state that he would be a good player to use on the wings, both as a regular UK winger – Running a lot, dribbling and crossing near the end line (BTW, he’s not a marvelous crosser), and as a regular BR “Atacante” – Playing in the wing, running, dribbling and closing inside the box looking for a finish or a assist (Like Robben does). Or as a false 9. There’s a lot of hype around him, baseless or not, that he is the best youth for that role. Maybe he is, maybe not… but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Barca looking for the best (and making mistakes that end up in flops).

    In 6 months Neymar could sign a pre-contract under brazilian law that would let him have a professional link with any team and forbiding any current contract extensions or other signings (unless a fee is paid).How could Santos bargain to gain anyhting from Neymar?Their only option would be to extend the current contract before anything. It has been said that he wanted to extend it to 2016 but the Barca attacked. Before the CL elimination it had been rumored that they were wiilling to wait until 2014 to get Neymar, but now things have been rushed out a lot. It has been said that they came saying “Either now or 2014 for free. If you dare to sign an extension we will never look for you again and try to find another long-term option. Don’t even dare”.
    That left Santos without any negotiation room. Even worse, Neymar only wanted Barca. Santos wanted to respect that – much to their gratitude after all those years of trophies, respect and keeping himself on “peixe”. So they came to the negotiation table.
    It IS true that Real Madrid saw that as an opportunity to weaken their rival – and strenghten their squad. IMHO Neymar would NEVER fit in RM currently (Or Chelsea, City, PSG or United for that matter. Maybe Bayern.). IT IS TRUE that RM gave and 35m offer for the 100% of his pass – and a 11m yearly wage.
    Barca KNEW Neymar’s option and bairgained. First 18m. Then 20. And now 20m + 8 in case they win the CL + 2 friendlies (in Brazil and Spain) in which all the earnings go to Santos (That way the other partner that holded 40% of Nerman would net get a single dime. Smart move).
    Santos SOLD him at Saturday 1 am Brasilia time (-3 GMT) to BOTH clubs and left Neymar to choose. He picked the 7m yearly deal. And promised to come back.
    I’m not Santista. I’m a Palmeiras fan.But I must say he has been treating this in a perfect sensible manner for himself and the team. The team NEEDED that money. How could anyone afford losing all that? Losing that asset for free?

  19. Flippy
    May 26, 2013

    why is no one talking about how we dismantled Espanyol 2-0 in their house?!
    did anyone see Alexis’ golazo?
    whew! I think it showed a glimpse of what we will get from him next season!

  20. TITO
    May 26, 2013

    Just wanted to post that.
    Almost nobody talks about an excellent game that we just had.
    I really liked how we played, how we controlled the game and more or less the calmness after those assholes again beat the shit out of our players.
    Alexis was great, Thiago too, Cesc, Iniesta, Song..more or less everybody.

    • ibbe
      May 26, 2013

      I liked how our players got more physical in the second half, and I loved how Dani responded to Wakaso’s dirty play by some hard tackles and challenges of his own!

      Alexis and Song were awesome but not so sure about Thiago though, he improved in the second half but I still expected more from him..

      • Doug
        May 26, 2013

        Wakaso did play pretty dirty. I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. He’s also a hot head.

        I actually thought Thiago played very well. Alexi’s goal was beautiful! He needs a little better first touch – be could have had a couple more goals if he would have handled a couple through balls better.

        Nice game for Barca. Beautiful late goal from Pedro, with a nice assist from Xavi.

  21. bhed
    May 26, 2013

    One of the commentators said if Thiago plays next match he meets some 60% benchmark in his contract, and can go for $18 mil (Euro), but if he doesn’t play, his buyout is $90 mil?? Is this true? If so, I REALLY hope he doesn’t dress for the next match because I’d like to keep him.

  22. Archie
    May 26, 2013

    Last week I was fearing the impending Neymartian deal. Today, I am pleasantly excited to have such a bright young thing choose Barca. Does he equal a striker, though? I still want Jackson M. or Lewandovski to replace Villa (better Barca than Bayern, and he is likely to accept Bayern offer.) Of course there is the CB spend, too. I am trending away from HummelSilva toward ??? Guardian had a list of defenders being scouted by Arsenal? Or some EPl teams, and I’d never heard of them.

  23. BA
    May 26, 2013

    Neymar is an immense gamble.

    we need his willingness to invent and take people on, a burst of flair and yes maybe even ego in the squad. perhaps too his arrival will push Messi to express himself in those aspects more often as well, which can only be a good thing.

    but for the amount of money being discussed (Sid Lowe is reporting $100m over the extent of his contract), a lightweight show pony signed because of Rosell’s arrogance and his connection to Nike would keep the club out of contention for a long while. if as a result of that spending we don’t invest in VITAL areas of the squad, notably our defense, and if Neymar’s arrival unbalances the features of our play our style relies on (working for the team, pressing high up the pitch, considerate passing), this buy could be a disaster.

    it is not a gamble i would have made. if we’re talking about big-name, big-money players, i’d have sooner spent $50m on Gareth Bale than the $60-100m on Neymar; at least Bale can defend. an equal-money ($42m) offer to Thiago Silva would likewise have been a more sensible investment than the numbers currently being bandied about for Neymar; we HAVE strikers already, what we don’t have is world-class, capable defenders. and until we consolidate those, any spending is going to be thrown into serious doubt.

    • Nav
      May 27, 2013

      Where is Lowe pulling that 100m number from?

      • G6O
        May 27, 2013

        He’s adding the transfer money, his salary over the 5 years of the contract and 30 million supposedly paid to the player separately. His piece is the first to mention the latter so I don’t know how accurate that is

        • Nav
          May 27, 2013

          7m x over 5 years + 28m + supposed 10m is 73m. This is only the outgoings though; I imagine most of this will be recouped in tshirt sales alone.

          • G6O
            May 27, 2013

            Add those 30 million I mentioned to that and it becomes 100 million

        • Nav
          May 27, 2013

          Not quite so willing to buy into the 30m figure without a good source sorry.

  24. Bill
    May 26, 2013

    Good game today. I didn’t get the feeling we were vulnerable at the back like we usually are. I still think Bartra should be starting more. How else would the team know if he is the defender for the future? Ditto Montoya.

    Good goal from Alexis, lots of energy, style and determination. Where has this guy been? Ditto the Pedro run for goal, he just hasn’t been making those runs for a while.

    Fabregas has the worst passing I have seen anyone from la masia display. His passes are just too careless/lazy for my liking.

    Soccer is funny sometimes. If we had last seasons results this year, we win the league. And this seasons results last year, we take Madrid all the way to the last game.

    I’m very excited about Neymar. This is the first good piece of business, along with Alba, since that Eto’o debacle. The team finally got a real winger that can score. It is easier to teach a player like Neymar how to defend than it is teaching a slow guy like Villa or Zlatan how to play the wings.

    Neymar’s talent is inate and natural, so I don’t believe people should be worried about him flopping. All he will have to do is make small adjustments to his game and add some strength. He has tighter ball control than Cr7 plus better creativity. If you watch Cr7 closely, you will notice that he runs out of ideas and his ball control desserts him after beating two players, that’s why he resorts to those long speculative shots that need lots of luck plus poor goalkeeping to go in. Iniesta, Messi and Neymar don’t have that problem.

    He can also be a good solution to bus parking. There are three ways to beat a parked bus: 1. Faster transitions into offense once the ball is recovered, sending the defenders into a fire stopping mode and confuse them, before the defense sets
    2. Attack the outer edges of the bus by beating the defenders in those areas, forcing the bus to collapse backwards sending them into confusion
    3. Passing through the first line on defense then trying through passes or lobs to speedy wingers.
    Neymar would excel in all three.

    Can we have either of the two goalkeepers on display at the champions league? They were excellent.

    • lyd
      May 27, 2013

      Second your thoughts Bill.

      Re Alexis, what we saw last night (Although I had to see it today as Cesc started once more, anyway) from the Chilean was a player taking responsibility in the absence of the great Leo. With a full back beside him that overlaps and a front man ahead of him, Alexis can produce more gems, like he does for Chile. He and Song looks like the type that learns new, however little, things everyday. Now its all up to Tito to device two (or more) sets of attacking-third formation and tactics, especially the Messi-less one which will cure many of us of Messidependencia, for the greater good.

    • Colby
      May 27, 2013

      “In the end, Barcelona reportedly agreed to pay Santos and those partners around €28m, plus a further €30m to the player and close to €9m in agents’ fees. A down payment of €10m had already been made in January 2011. Neymar will sign a five-year contract on a salary of €7m a season. In total, that means the package is worth more than €100m.”

      I saw some discussion of this above, but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of consensus on this. Do we have any idea how much we actually spent? I was thinking these numbers were the Madrid-based papers’ numbers, trying to make it look more expensive. But if Lowe is using them…
      I just can’t begin to fathom what that “further 30m to the player” is for. I’ve never heard of anything like that. And isn’t 9m to the agent a bit much? Isn’t it usually 15% of the amount given to the other club, meaning 4.5 million?

      • G6O
        May 27, 2013

        Players often get signing bonuses. But never so big and certainly never amounting to more than what the selling club receives. I don’t understand it either

      • May 27, 2013

        “agents”. Plural. I assume the other “interests” who own parts of Neymar have negotiators who took their own cuts.

  25. lyd
    May 27, 2013

    Re Neymar, the pros and cons are there with every new signing. I understand the general mixed vibe with Cules, even Cruyff lately remarked that Neymar and Messi might annihilate or something, if they play together. All I have to say to Cruyff is his words which goes something like, “every disadvantage has its advantage.”

    Few cons that I’d like to point out and attempt to convert into pros:

    1. High price: Okay so what if he cost us 30M or what Sid Lowe figured out? Really, there is little doubt about the raw quality of his abilities. Think of the exposure he’ll get at WC and the next season with us. Say what you want to say about RoSell and his lack of values, but the jerk surely knows a thing or two about re-sell values. High odds that his market price will keep increasing in time for the next 2-3 years. Won’t be surprised if the PSGs, Monacos of the world come knocking for him with 100M after every season.

    2. “Flashy” playing style: The step-overs or the extra pause might seem annoying at first (or everytime) but this can work well when the team is out of shape, fitness and not pressing, retaining shapes well. Neymar with his extra pause and close control, buys the midfielders and full back (who complements the winger) more time to adjust the right way in a smoother fashion, unlike now where we always have to expect a pass back from winger almost immediately, resulting in less thinking time and thus stress for the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Thiago and full-back. Its not that Neymar would seamlessly be required to fit into the sacred temple located in our center midfield. Thank goodness we got that department well covered for 2 more seasons at least.

    3. Impact on youngsters like Deulofeu, Tello and others in the pipeline: So Neymar would definitely cut down babies’ collective playing time, but hey! don’t we want to see Tello, Deulofeu, turn into a beast of a player/world-class? Healthy competition from the likes of Neymar (young and super-talented/hyped/unproven) is what a player and personality like Deulofeu needs. Adverse conditions brings the best out of potentially great players. Something’s got to give, hopefully the best case scenario!

    4. Messi factor: I always get the feeling that we tend to take Leo for granted like the golden goose. Barca may have lost the aura at the moment but Leo is still light years ahead of every other players who are considered intimidating. All virtuoso, regardless of profession, needs constant challenges and motivation to maintain the insane level. Sure Messi would always play at a high level till he retires, but his ability to sustain perfection would somehow depend on external factors. This is where Neymar comes in. Leo now gets to jam and play a duet with someone similar to him in terms of brain speed and skills in the final third of the pitch. And I’m sure Leo fondly remembers how Ronaldinho guided him in the early days, so I feel Leo would have a soft spot for Neymar and added motivation to work things out collectively. If all goes well, it’ll be a treat to see the two compose brilliant moves along with the others like Iniesta, Thiago and Alexis.

    5. The hairstyle: Well it can’t be worse than blond Alvez, can it? lol

    • G6O
      May 27, 2013

      I am not sure why some people think Messi and Neymar will clash egos and can’t coexist. Every time they have played each other they have had quite friendly chats with each other after the game and for all I know, they may in fact want to play with each other. They’re not competing for the same position. and Messi certainly has the football brains to figure out how he will actually benefit from the extra space that will open up in the middle of the pitch with Neymar occupying defenses on the left, especially after having to break through walls of defenders for two years with nobody paying any attention to Pedro, Villa and Alexis.

      This has all the potential to work out really well. Sure, it can also spectacularly fail, but nothing is ever risk-free.

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