Neymar may be the most expensive player in football history. But even he’ll feel the pressure of trying to fire Brazil to glory in next year’s World Cup.
Few countries demand more of their national team than Brazil. And Neymar captained the Selecao when they hosted the 2014 tournament. He was only 22-years-old at the time.
It was a huge burden for someone so young. He’d just had an unspectacular first season at Barcelona. But he seemed to thrive under the expectation.
Neymar scored four goals in five games to help Brazil reach the semi-finals. However, he was injured for the last-four meeting with Germany. Brazil were humiliated in a 7-1 defeat without him.
Brazil lacked quality in some key areas in 2014. Fred was their leading striker, after all. But they should have one of the best squads in Russia.
Tite’s team are 6/1 favourites to win the tournament. Our traders think only Germany and France have a slightly better chance to win.
Neymar’s continued to improve since 2014. He’s devastating when cutting in from the left flank. The 25-year-old combines out-of-this-world skill with very impressive end product.
He’s scored 11 goals in his first 12 games for PSG so far. But there have been some problems too. He and Edinson Cavani have clashed over who takes penalties.
That won’t happen with the national team, where Neymar is clearly the star.
The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Willian mean that they aren’t totally reliant on him though.
And as Tite rotates the captaincy, Neymar can focus on his own game. That could be very bad news for the other teams in Russia.
All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of publication