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Can Neymar hope to be the worthy heir of King Pelé?

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Since his recruitment by the Qatari owners of Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 for the record sum of 222 million euros, the crazy arabesque striker has become accustomed to coming to an internship in the small Gulf emirate. And it is in Doha, under the gold of the Lusail stadium where the Brazilians start on Thursday evening, and where they hope to return on December 18 for the final, that Neymar hopes to finally crown the planetary crown.

By avoiding committing the same misstep inaugural as the Argentina of his friend Lionel Messi, Tuesday against Saudi Arabia (2-1) on the same lawn. Sometimes criticized for his dilettanteism, Neymar put the odds on his side, signing a royal start to the season with PSG (11 goals and 9 assists in 14 Ligue 1 matches).

“Well physically”

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“I feel good physically, I’m happy, I’m having a very happy time at the club, so I feel well prepared,” the striker said in a recent interview with the British daily. The Telegraph.

Enough to make him, at 30, the undisputed leader of the Seleçao, five-time winner of the World Cup (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) and solidly rebuilt by coach Tite.

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In the country of Pelé, the supporters hope that, this time, Brazil will finally obtain its “hexacampeonato” (6th trophy) after twenty years of scarcity, led by Neymar. He only has a Confederations Cup in 2013 and an Olympic gold medal in 2016, at home.

Close the gaping wound

It would be a way to close the gaping wound opened after the humiliation suffered in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, at home, against Germany (7-1 defeat), while number 10 was injured in the previous round.

“We have a wonderful history but that requires a certain degree of pressure,” Tite admitted on Tuesday. “Brazil is passionate about football. We have pressure but we have to take advantage of that because dreaming is part of our life.”

If the Seleçao manages to crown it, it is very likely that Neymar can equal the goal record of Pelé (82 years old): “Ney” has 75 units, two lengths from the 77 goals in selection attributed to the legendary victorious striker of three World Cups (even if the latter, also counting friendly matches of Brazil played against clubs, claims 95).

High pressure

“With Neymar in form, we have a very good chance of winning the World Cup, because he is a player who really makes the difference on the pitch”, confirmed for theAFP former international defender Cafu, captain of the 2002 world champions.

Neymar did not win unanimous support in Brazil when he took a stand in the recent presidential election in favor of the outgoing far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, finally defeated, to whom he had promised to dedicate his first World Cup goal.

But he also recorded good news on the extra-sporting level with the abandonment of the charges against him in a trial in Spain around possible irregularities concerning his transfer in 2013 to Barcelona. How to approach the 2022 World Cup with a freer spirit?

Source: Europe1

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