June 13, 2014
At a very young age, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, or more popularly Neymar, has drawn strong comparison to fellow Brazilian, soccer legend Pele. After watching him unleash two goals in a 3-1 victory over Croatia in the first ever match of the 2014 World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, there is no reason not to agree.
Neymar, just 22 years old, was exhilirating and electrifying, flashing the accelaration, speed, superb dribbling and ability to finish with both feet he was known for. Down by one early after a Marcelo own goal, Neymar responded with an awesome 29th-minute strike from longe range to negate the early boo-boo. So impressive was that goal that there wasn’t even power in the kick, but the trajectory of his strike was perfection as he drilled it low and to the right corner, just enough to elude the long arms of Croatian goalie Stipe Pletikosa. It was bedlam after that for a sport considered as religion to this host nation. His penalty kick on the 71st minute was another thing of beauty.
The FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball winner last summer thus scored his first two goals in the World Cup he is expected to own. And seeing him play, I think he will.
Neymar’s World Cup legend is born.
Sportsmaryosep postscript: We chose Germany to win here and picked Ivory Coast as a darkhorse. But I wouldn’t mind Neymar giving the Brazilians their sixth World Cup triumph. Perhaps Lionel Messi would care to impress us all?
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