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Let’s talk about Neymar — overrated actor or future legend?

The Brazil forward's playacting has annoyed many neutrals

Alright mate, d’ya see Neymar yesterday? Rolling around and playacting. Pathetic wasn’t it?

It is a bit frustrating at times. Mostly because he’s such a good player. Everyone is talking about his theatrics rather than his ability. It’s a shame.

It’s his own fault though.

Oh yeah, he doesn’t help himself. But the thing is, he gets fouled more than the average player. In fact no player has been fouled at the World Cup. The opposition target him and he takes a proper kicking most games. I think maybe all the playacting is a response to that — his way of getting back at them, you know?

How many Neymar dribbles end in a nothing foul?

Getty - Contributor
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How many Neymar dribbles end in a nothing foul?

Maybe. But it’s embarrassing. He’s not the only one who gets clattered.

And he’s not the only one who dives and makes the most of every bit of contact. There’s just more attention on Neymar because he’s the most expensive player in the world and all that.

Well that’s the thing, if he really wants to be considered as good as Messi and Ronaldo then he needs to learn to ride a challenge.

That’s a fair point actually. Messi is very good at knowing when to draw the foul and when to beat the man. Ronaldo was too in his peak. Neymar does seem to settle for the free-kick nearly every time.

Exactly. And if he gets too much of the ball and is always going down then it breaks up Brazil’s play. They can’t get any rhythm if the ref is blowing his whistle every thirty seconds.

Neymar does tend to spend a lot of the game on his back

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Neymar does tend to spend a lot of the game on his back

That’s definitely been true at times this tournament. Maybe that’s why they’ve had more success playing through Philippe Coutinho?

Yep. Also, Neymar is supposed to be one of Brazil’s leaders. They all look to him to set an example. If he’s throwing himself about, the rest will as well. I remember when Brazil were the good guys.

Sometimes I think Neymar’s a bit too skilful for his good.

Is he really all that though? All style, little substance. Overrated for me.

I kind of get what you mean but I think there’s a fair amount of substance to his game as well. He’s scored *checks Google* 326 career goals and he’s still only 26-years-old.

Is that a lot?

Let’s look up some comparisons. You remember Hernan Crespo, Gabriel Batistuta and George Weah?

Now we’re talking. Quality centre-forwards they were.

All of them finished their career with fewer goals than Neymar has at the age of 26.

Batigol

AP:Associated Press
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Batigol

Alright, that’s pretty impressive.

And Neymar has played the majority of his career as a left-sided forward, in fact he’s basically been a winger at times.

Yeah but hang on, he stayed with Santos for a while didn’t he? And he spent last season playing in a farmers’ league.

The standard of Ligue 1 is questionable, I’ll give you that. But he was quite clearly the best player in the league. He was taking the p*** at times — rainbow kicks and all.

BRING ON THE FARMERS!

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BRING ON THE FARMERS!

Not convinced. What’s his record in the Champions League?

I’ll check. Says here 27 goals in 47 games, pretty good. He won it with Barcelona in 2015 and scored ten goals that campaign — equal top scorer.

Fair enough, his international record is decent too, right?

Better than decent. How does 57 goals in 89 caps sound? He’s Brazil’s third top-scorer of all time. He’s gone past Romario, Zico, Bebeto, Rivaldo, etc. Only Ronaldo and Pele have scored more but if Neymar stays fit he’ll catch them both before long.

Remember the MSN days? Good times…

Reuters
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Remember the MSN days? Good times…

He’s got something about him. And his numbers are impressive. But you’re never going to convince me he’s a decent bloke. He winds me up.

Sure, that’s fine. Although isn’t it possible to not like a player while still appreciating their talent? Take Sergio Ramos for example, I can’t stand the fella. But I’d have him in my team at the drop of a hat.

I see where you’re coming from. Thing is, the way Neymar’s going, when he retires and people talk about him, there’ll be just as much chat about his s**thousery as his ability. He’s harming his own legacy.

Hierarchy

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Hierarchy

Most the greats have had egos to match their talent. There’s still time for him to cut out the roly-polies.

Not likely though, is it?

Probably not… I’ll always enjoy watching him though.

Each to their own. I’d love to see him lose in the quarter-finals…