Free Range Neymar Shows Out in Home Debut for Paris Saint-Germain

In his first game as a Paris Saint-Germain player in the Parc des Princes, Neymar ran amok and humiliated Toulouse with his individual skill and ability to create for his teammates. Neymar had two goals and two assists in his home debut, and he didn’t let the crowd down.

There’s no doubt that playing without Lionel Messi has freed Neymar up to express himself more on the field, and that led to plenty of goals and assists for Paris Saint-Germain. Despite all the praise heaped on Neymar for his solo play, the Brazilian is a team player with a track record of taking his teams far.

Julio Gomes of UOL lamented Neymar’s playmaker position in his first PSG game against Guingamp away, but in Neymar’s home debut, Gomes felt that Neymar was playing his free role on the left on paper as he does for Brazil. For me, there was no difference; Neymar was free to go wherever he wanted.

While Neymar did trash plenty of Toulouse players off the dribble, you can’t really say that he was selfish or the proverbial ball hog, but there was some talk of whether or not Neymar was being disrespectful to his opponents by really showing them up.

The counter argument to this is of course that Neymar was paid to play his personal brand of flair and skill soccer, and there is the other counterargument that soccer is for entertainment. People come to the games and watch on TV and online to be entertained. If Neymar leaves someone for dead with a rainbow, then that’s fair.

This was statement game for Neymar, if you can say this for someone who is already easily the third best player in the world, and maybe the second best player in the world. This was the first time that Neymar was the leader of his own team in Europe in a big venue, and the Brazilian definitely did not disappoint. You have to remember that PSG is absolutely loaded with elite and world-class players, so the fact that Neymar stands out so much for his individual skill and speed of play and speed of thought really says something.

Neymar was everywhere for PSG, and leaving Barcelona is letting Neymar show more of his game. The PSG and Brazil Number 10 looks more versatile than Messi, if it’s safe to say that without being dogpiled by keyboard warriors on the internet. Whereas Messi has his trademark Stratavarius left foot as Ray Hudson of BeIN Sports calls it, Neymar uses both feet interchangeably to dribble, pass, and shoot.

Neymar is the man on fire right now, and no one would blame you for watching Neymar play instead of a Barcelona game.

Translation: Neymar debuts in a Messi role, playmaking and farther from goal


Julio Gomes has a blog for the Brazilian site, UOL Esporte, where he recently wrote the following article about Neymar:

“Neymar estreia “à la Messi”, armando jogo e mais longe do gol”

Translation: Neymar debuts in a Messi role, playmaking and farther from goal

Here is the link for the article, and the translation from Brazilian Portuguese is below:

“Neymar had a good debut in a Paris Saint-Germain jersey. He scored the third goal in the 3-0 victory over tiny Guingamp, off a pass from Cavani – the Uruguayan had scored the second, off the first assist of Neymar for PSG. The floodgates (lit. can) had been opened on Guingamp’s pathetic own goal at the start of the second half.

A goal, an assist, a nutmeg, a good cross that Marquinhos headed into the crossbar. Nothing to complain about.

I am a voice out of order from the majority in the analysis of the soccer of Neymar. The guy is a baller, of this there is no doubt. But, from my point of view, his principal quality is finishing.

With this, I don’t mean that he isn’t a good dribbler or that he doesn’t know how to be the playmaker. I’m just saying that the best version of Neymar is that in which he plays really close to goal, receiving clean balls and with few adversaries in front of him. Preferably, at speed. He has a finishing rate on the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and other finishers around the world.

In four seasons at Barcelona, Neymar scored 88 goals from open play. 40 of those with just one touch on the ball, 39 with a controlling touch and finish and only 9 where he created his own goal.

In his debut, the goal came with one touch on the ball. It’s logical that that proportion is going to change at PSG. He played as a 10. The change of a jersey number never was too loyal to a tactical change. He played Messi’s position at various times with Barcelona, receiving balls in the middle of various adversaries (as the photo below shows). It’s fine. The comparisons will become even easier.

Last season, the first one of coach Unai Emery, Paris almost always played with two players quite wide – including Draexler, Di Maria, and Lucas. This Sunday, Neymar and Di Maria played centrally, opening up the channels for the outside backs. It’s just that it practically ripped the game away from the Italian Verratti, who was originally the principal playmaker of the team.

Daniel Alves had few surges down the right side, with time he will acquire more linkup with the Argentinean. Kurzawa advanced a lot into the space that would have been Neymar’s down the left. From him came the cross that later ended up as a goal for Neymar.

That wasn’t what happened in his debut. He was an attacking midfielder in fact, a playmaker, the principal builder of all the plays. He was more an Isco or Rodriguinho or an Inesta than a Neymar. He was more Verratti than Verratti. This didn’t work out that well on the Seleção in a few moments of slim pickin’s pre-Tite,

He occupied a part of the field where there was more people, more congestion. And he stayed too far from goal.

In the first half, PSG, despite having the ball all the time, created very few chances of real danger. In the second half, they won a present from Ikoko, one of the most bizarre own goals that everyone had seen in our lives.

And then, yes, the game changed. It became easy. PSG came to have more openings. On one occasion, in a counter attack, Neymar played a marvelous pass for Cavani to score a second goal. His first assist with the new jersey.

The number of assists will inevitably increase. But it’s good to jump back to the fact that Neymar already provided many assists at Barcelona. This didn’t necessarily happen by having the position of playmaker.

Honestly, I don’t think that he’ll keep this position, and it’s fair that the coach tries it in a game against a weak adversary like Guingamp.

In the nick of time, I believe that Emery is going to prefer Neymar playing more to the left, closer to goal, where he is much more productive.

If the plan for leaving Barcelona and going to PSG was to be the protagonist and play like Messi, it seems that he will really be in his position. He’s going to be lacking… playing like Messi.”


Neymar Plays Number 10 Role in Paris Saint-Germain Debut

Neymar Plays Number 10 Role in PSG Debut

Embed from Getty Images

Neymar made his Paris Saint-Germain debut last Sunday against Guingamp, and the $263 million Brazilian provided a goal, an assist, and a nutmeg for good measure. There was also a cross to Marquinhos, which the defender hit off the crossbar.

Neymar was lining up out left on paper, but the Brazil and PSG Number 10 was playing in a playmaking position as an attacking midfielder, more central than he would be at Barcelona, his former club.

Neymar had the ball constantly for PSG on Sunday, and his teammates had no problem handing over the keys to the team to him and letting him run the show, as was his due.

Every other touch for PSG seemed to be a Neymar touch. Neymar would play the ball to a teammate who would play it back to Neymar, and the Brazilian would then play the ball to someone else. No doubt PSG improved immediately with the addition of Neymar, but with Neymar PSG got an unselfish teammate.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline, Guingamp wasn’t that bad. A Guingamp own goal opened up the game in the second half, but Neymar’s excellent debut can’t be attributed to a poor opponent.

Jonathan Johnson of ESPN gave Ángel Di Maria a poor rating of 3 for the game, and the Argentinean’s so-so performance could open up a spot for Javier Pastore to start. Julio Gomes of UOL in Brazil wrote that Neymar’s best position is closer to goal, but a player like Neymar has a bigger impact on the game the more he has the ball. If Pastore does start the next game, Neymar will probably be closer to goal, or at least he might receive more passes in scoring positions.

Neymar was lively and impressive in his PSG debut, and the more we see Neymar playing without Lionel Messi, the more everyone will be able to gauge how Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar really compare to one another.

Playing for PSG could be Neymar’s first step in improving his chances to win the Ballon d’Or over Messi and Ronaldo.


Why PSG is Good for Neymar


Neymar to Paris Saint Germain is a good move for Neymar. A great move. A smart move.

At PSG, Neymar can play the Number 10 role where he can showcase his playmaking and scoring skills, and Javier Pastore even handed over his Number 10 to Neymar.

PSG is a team worthy of Neymar. The French club is a storied club that even Ronaldinho played for. For all of the hype that the English Premier League receives, most of the EPL clubs never had the best player in the world playing for them. There’s talk of the Paris side not having the caliber of players that Barcelona has, but this isn’t really true.

Neymar Has Elite Teammates at PSG

Three world-class defenders all start for PSG: Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, and Marquinhos. That’s a right back and two center backs which comprises three of the four members of the Paris backline.

The French side also have Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi, and Thiago Motta in the midfield, and Verratti is arguably the best center midfielder in the world along with Arturo Vidal of Chile and Bayern Munich.

PSG isn’t without creativity and magic already. Who can forget that Javier Pastore plays for PSG? Pastore is arguably the best playmaker in the world along with Andrés Iniesta and Dimitri Payet of France and Olympique Marseille. When healthy, Pastore is a regular starter for Argentina, and he has made a name for himself in Ligue 1 for embarrassing defenders with nutmegs. The Argentinean attacking midfielder and forward from Córdoba is exactly the type of player that Neymar likes to play with. Pastore has had some injury problems, but he’s nevertheless a player who plays the brand of soccer than Neymar plays, which is are indeed.

Paris’ starting striker Edinson Cavani is widely regarded as one of the best center forwards in the world, and so Neymar will have an elite striker to feed and play off. A Number 9 like Cavani draws defenders to him, and this frees up Neymar to score more goals.

The Brazilian also has Ángel Di Maria and Lucas Moura on his team, and while Lucas is still not at his peak, Di María is easily one of the best players in all of world football.

Neymar will not be lacking for quality and support when he plays for Paris, even if PSG isn’t as storied as Barcelona and Real Madrid. You could argue that PSG was simply lacking the type of player that Real Madrid and Barcelona had. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were both the difference for those two teams which separated them from other teams in the Champions League.

Ligue 1 Is One of the Top Leagues in Europe

Besides PSG, Ligue 1 has Monaco, Marseille, Nice, and Lyon, and France has always produced a steady stream of world-class players. You can’t really argue that the technical quality or athleticism of Ligue 1 is poor. No one who has watched French football would ever say that. If anything, Ligue 1 has more technical quality and better passing than the EPL.

Neymar Can Play His Best Position at PSG

Many people view the left wing or at least the left side of the attack as Neymar’s best position, and while Neymar was playing there for Barcelona, Messi was the player who drifted centrally, which prevented Neymar from occupying that space.

There’s an argument to be made that Barcelona’s attack was very fluid with Messi, Suárez, and Neymar all moving all over the attack, but Messi was normally occupying the space right behind Suárez in the attack. A player likes Neymar wants to receive and release the ball constantly all over the field, so that he can control the team’s passing and attacking build up.

No matter how associated Neymar is with the left side of the attack, the Brazilian is more effective and influential in the middle where he has space to operate to the right and to the left, and Neymar has an outstanding weaker left foot, which he doesn’t hesitate to use more or less interchangeably with his right foot.

The Brazilian loses something when he doesn’t play with Messi, who creates non-stop scoring chances, but Neymar is at a level where he doesn’t need to be dependent on that type of service and windfall. Messi does produce a ton of assists, but you could argue that Messi’s primary concern is to collect the ball himself, dribble through everyone, and score.

When Neymar plays with Messi, Barcelona is all about Messi, so a move to PSG lets Neymar play the way that he wants to play, which ultimately gives him a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or and the World Cup with Brazil.


Where Will Neymar Line Up with Paris Saint-Germain?

Where Will Neymar Line Up with Paris Saint-Germain?

Neymar has normally lined up out left in the attack for both Brazil and Barcelona, but he has always performed his best when he has the space to drift into the center of the attack behind the striker to orchestrate goals and score goals.

Neymar covers a lot of territory as a player. He likes to drop deep into the midfield to collect the ball, and he likes being able to play passes to the left or to the right.

At Barcelona, Messi would normally collect the ball out on the right and immediately cut into the center of the field to attack the defense and feed his teammates.

In recent years, one of the trademark plays of Messi was to play chips over the defense to his onrushing teammates. Messi played nonstop chips and through balls for his teammates to score while also playing passes and then bursting forward to receive the ball back again. All of this was great, but it prevented Neymar from occupying this playmaking role.

With PSG, Neymar will be the focal point of the team as he is with Brazil, and no matter where he lines up on paper, he’s going to be in the center of the attack behind Edinson Cavani or whoever is playing striker. Neymar’s playmaker role will affect how much Javier Pastore and Julian Draxler play.

In a perfect world, starting Neymar and Pastore together would be the best thing for PSG. Pastore is a Number 10, but he has less scoring tendencies than Neymar. The Argentinean wouldn’t get in Neymar’s way. The difference between playing with Pastore and playing with Messi is that Neymar was essentially forced to defer to Messi. Although Pastore is a world-class playmaker, you have the sense that he knows how to get out of Neymar’s way. If Neymar goes into the center, Pastore would just go wide, and vice versa.

Neymar and Pastore starting together is possible, but Angel Di Maria will most likely start over Pastore. Di Maria plays on the right wing where he can cut onto his left foot, and this would put Neymar in a similar system to the one he played in at Barcelona.

Many people view Neymar has an attacker that plays on the left side, but anyone who has watched Neymar play for Brazil knows that Neymar shifts into the middle where he can orchestrate the attack and control the team’s passing. The same thing will likely happen at Paris Saint-Germain.


Where Neymar Will Line up for PSG


Daniel Alves-Marquinhos-Thiago Silva-Kurzawa


Di Maria-Cavani-Neymar


Neymar Should Go to Paris Saint-Germain and Leave Messi’s Shadow

Neymar Should Go to Paris Saint-Germain and Leave Messi’s Shadow

Lionel Messi is holding Neymar back at Barcelona. Despite all the benefits of playing with Messi, Neymar doesn’t have the freedom to really play his game while playing alongside the world’s best player.

Messi likes to cut inside from the right and occupy the center of the attack behind Luis Suárez, and this prevents Neymar from occupying this same zone where he can orchestrate the attack and score more goals. The counter argument to this is that Neymar and Messi display a free-flowing style of combination play that creates lots of goals, but Neymar always has to defer to Messi.

When Neymar plays with Brazil, he’s a team player just like he is with Barcelona, but Neymar doesn’t have to limit his involvement and impact like he does with Barcelona. As long as Neymar plays with Messi, he’ll have to mostly stay on the left side of the field and stay out of Messi’s way.The Brazilian has shown that he can play with another superstar and that he keeps a good attitude while deferring to another player, but now is the time to lead his own European club team. Anyone of Neymar’s ability would look to play for a big team where he can be the primary attacking weapon and lead the team. This doesn’t make Neymar selfish or greedy. Messi just turned 30 years old, and he will likely be playing at a world-class and elite level until he is 35. This would be five more years of Neymar toning down his impact and flair to defer to Messi.

Going to Paris Saint-Germain would be an excellent move for Neymar because he would be able to be the Number 10 for a team full of other elite talents. PSG has an outstanding group of defenders and great midfielders would be provide Neymar with a complete team, and this sort of switch would be great for European football. It would distribute more of the truly elite talent away from just two teams: Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Neymar should transfer to PSG for his own interests. At PSG, Neymar has a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or and continuing to improve his game. As long as Neymar plays with Messi, Neymar can’t play the Number 10 role, and he has less touches on the ball. Neymar is a Number 10, and he can’t truly play this role while being married to the left side of the field at Barcelona.

Leaving Messi was inevitable for the Brazilian. Messi is still in his prime, and staying at Barcelona for five more years as Messi’s second in command would be a bad choice for Neymar. Neymar is much better than he gets credit for, but no one is really going to know that as long as he has to only show 70% of his ability while playing with Messi.

Time for Neymar to step out of the Messi Shadow

Time for Neymar to step out of the Messi Shadow

After losing a match to Manchester City in the Champions League, Barcelona has been underperforming, and somebody on the team needs to make up for this. Neymar is one player who can look to be even more impactful in order to inspire his teammates because, while Barcelona is famous for its attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luís Suárez, and Neymar, people think of Messi when they think of Barcelona.

One of the things that makes Neymar a world-class player is his ability to play in and for a team. While Neymar is arguably the most technically-skilled player in the world, even more so than the untouchable Lionel Messi, Neymar knows how to play within a team framework and improve his teammates. The same cannot really be said of Cristiano Ronaldo.

To be fair to Neymar, he doesn’t really defer too much to Messi, but he should view himself as good or better than Messi. Messi himself would play as good or better with a more assertive Neymar, so Neymar’s looking to dominate games more wouldn’t impede Messi from continuing to play more or less the same.

Messi loves to cut in from the right wing, and Neymar has been really impressive when he’s played more centrally, even if playing out left is where he has normally played. Messi’s game is all about his left foot, and Neymar is a truly two-footed player, who uses his weaker left foot to dribble, pass, and shoot.

Andrés Iniesta is injured, and this presents an opportunity for Neymar to claim the role as Barcelona’s primary playmaker. Let Messi play out to the right and continue to cut inside onto his left foot; this doesn’t stop Neymar from playing centrally behind Luís Suárez and Messi.

In a soccer world dominated by Messi and Ronaldo, the fact that Neymar possesses a better skill-set than both goes under the radar. Neymar could be said to be a combination of a Number 10 player and a Number 11, and this makes his game extremely versatile where he can focus on playmaker or focus on playing off of a center forward. If an opponent looks to shut down Neymar’s scoring, then he can focus on setting up his teammates to score.

Maybe it would be better for Neymar to play for a different team, but even without leaving Barcelona, there is room for Neymar to boss games more than he does. Neymar can beat virtually any opponent – or crowds of opponents- off the dribble, and Neymar can destroy defenses with his passing as well. As a goal-scorer Neymar is prolific, and he scores with both feet and his head.

As Barcelona’s play features Messi, Suárez, and Neymar combining together, any improvement in Neymar’s play and work-rate just results in the other two playing better as well, but Neymar needs to make more of an effort to no longer just be Messi’s sidekick because Neymar is too good to accept this role.

Neymar is an electrifying player who is arguably the world’s most skilled player and the world’s best 1v1 dribbling because of his arsenal of tricks and fakes, and he should look to lead Barcelona just as he leads Brazil.

2015 Silver Ball: Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo?

Lionel Messi will win the 2015 Ballon d’Or. There’s no question about that.

As Messi is frequently called an alien, a freak, or not human by his fellow footballers, the real question is whether Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar will come in second place in the Ballon d’Or voting.

Both Ronaldo and Neymar have strong cases to come in second place, but second place will mean nothing to Ronaldo but something of a milestone for Neymar who has his sights on surpassing Messi.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar by the numbers:

Lionel Messi- 44 goals, 21 assists, 4 titles

Neymar- 41 goals, 12 assists, 4 titles

Cristiano Ronaldo- 45 goals, 14 assists, 0 titles

•The Case for Cristiano Ronaldo for Second Place•

The Portuguese forward has 45 goals compared to Neymar’s 41 goals – a slight advantage. In a year where Barcelona was universally considered better than Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s goals stats equaled Messi’s. The fact that Ronaldo’s numbers equaled Messi’s and surpassed Neymar’s is perhaps a more objective and fair standard to use to compare Ronaldo to Neymar. The Brazilian might be the more complete player, but Ronaldo shouldn’t be penalized for Messi’s and Suárez’s goals cutting into Neymar’s. The fact that Ronaldo’s numbers were close to Messi’s is a strong criteria to declare him above Neymar.

•The Case for Neymar for Second Place•

The Case for Neymar is less about stats and more about how well he played with Messi, Luís Suárez, Andrés Iniesta, and so on. Many elite players would get frustrated playing in Messi’s shadow and thus work less and produce less goals and assists, but Neymar bonded and thrived with Messi. The argument can be made that scoring 41 goals and producing 12 assists is harder to do when the focal point of the team is on another player. Neymar’s combination of playmaking and goalscoring make him a more complete player than Ronaldo, and the Brazilian was more active without the ball than Ronaldo. Neymar’s international play was far more dazzling than Ronaldo’s, so this is just another aspect of Neymar’s game that is more complete than Ronaldo’s.


Neymar deserves the Silver Ball (the runner-up to the Ballon d’Or award). Soccer isn’t just about numbers, and the way that Neymar was world-class as a teammate, as an individual achiever, and as a club and international player give him the edge over Ronaldo. The Brazilian was simply electrifying and magical. The way that Neymar played was superior to Ronaldo, and Neymar was the more successful champion.


What will happen in next year’s Ballon d’Or voting when Neymar is even better?

Doentes Por Futebol Translation: The Moment of Truth For Neymar

Doentes Por Futebol recently published a fascinating opinion piece by Victor Mendes Xavier on the impact Lionel Messi’s injury will have on Neymar and Barcelona’s tactical setup without Messi. The article is entitled “A hora da verdade para Neymar.” The English translation of the title is, “The Moment of Truth For Neymar.” You may notice that “the hour (or time) of truth” is translated into English as “the moment of truth,” which is a common figure of speech.

The piece highlights how Neymar will be expected to take up the main offensive role at the club, and the article also highlights the greater freedom Neymar will have on the field in general and in the attack. Victor Mendes Xavier also points out how Neymar will be able to drop into the midfield to combine and link up with the midfielders without giving up his role as a forward.

Here is a link to the article on the outstanding site and excellent social media follow, Doentes Por Futebol, which of course means “Crazy About Soccer.”

Here is a translation of the opinion piece with the original text below:

The Moment of Truth for Neymar

“The injury to Messi fell on Barcelona’s world like a bomb. Without his main star, Luís Enrique will need now more than ever one name in particular: Neymar. More so than Suárez, the Brazilian has the air of the lead man, decisiveness and skill, that in the end, made the club rip him away from Santos looking for a “Second Messi” on the roster. Obviously, the Argentine is irreplaceable and unique. But Neymar has the qualities to be a provisional leader for Barça.

Luís Enrique knows this. Two weeks ago, in the matchup against Átletico de Madrid, when Messi started on the bench, the Spaniard put the Number 11 in charge of leading the attack. Neymar, in theory, started out left, but, without the Number 10, gained even more freedom of movement. His movements down the middle, just like Messi’s, were greater, the partnership with Iniesta was more evident, and the interplay between the lines left the Atlético de Madrid center back pairing uncomfortable.

In the coming weeks without the Number 10, Lucho will study changing the formation, right away. Based on a piece in Mundo Deportivo, the Asturian plans to discard the 4-3-3 in favor of a (diamond) 4-4-2 with a more populated midfield: Busquets and Mascherano as a double pivot; Iniesta and Rakitic out wide on the flanks. In this formation, Neymar and Suárez would move all over the attack. Better for Neymar, who would have the option of interacting with the midfielders without necessarily having to compromise his role as a forward. Closer to goal, it’s almost certain that he will shine.

Neymar will have two months to display his true footballing range, which is greater than he has enjoyed thus far at Barcelona. Keep an eye on him.”

Original Brazilian Portuguese text:

“A lesão de Messi caiu como uma bomba no ambiente barcelonista. Sem seu principal astro, Luis Enrique irá necessitar mais do que nunca de um nome em especial: Neymar. Mais do que Suárez, o brasileiro tem uma aura de protagonista, decisão e técnica que, no fundo, fez o clube tirá-lo do Santos buscando um “segundo Messi” no elenco. Obviamente, o argentino é insubstituível e único. Mas Ney tem condições de ser um líder provisório do Barça.

Luis Enrique sabe disso. Há duas semanas, no duelo contra o Atlético de Madrid, quando Messi começou no banco, o espanhol encarregou o camisa 11 de liderar o sistema ofensivo. Ney, teoricamente, partiu da ponta esquerda, mas, sem o dez, ganhou ainda mais liberdade de movimentação. Seus movimentos à medular, tal qual Messi, foram maiores, a parceria com Iniesta ficou mais evidente e o jogo entre linhas deixou a dupla de zaga colchonera desconfortável.

Nas próximas semanas sem o 10, Lucho estuda mudar o sistema, pelo menos momentaneamente. De acordo com uma publicação do Mundo Deportivo, o asturiano pretende deixar o 4-3-3 de lado para formar um 4-4-2 com um meio-campo mais povoado: Mascherano e Busquets no doble-pivote; Iniesta e Rakitic abertos pelos flancos. Dessa forma, Neymar e Suárez se moveriam por todas as partes do ataque. Melhor para Ney, que teria a opção de dialogar com os meias sem necessariamente ter que cumprir funções de ponta. Mais próximo do gol, é quase certo que ele irá brilhar.

Neymar terá dois meses para mostrar sua verdadeira dimensão futebolística, que é maior do que a desfrutada até agora no Barcelona. Olho nele.”


Brazil’s New Attackers



While the search for the Seleção’s Number 9 continues, two Brazilian attackers stand out as worthy of lining up to the right and left of Neymar.

Lucas Moura and Felipe Anderson are worthy to line up next to Neymar.

The Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) must make sure that Lucas Moura and Felipe Anderson are put on the Seleção. These players embody the spirit of Brazilian soccer, and Neymar could use some more attackers that can shred defenders by themselves.

Time for Brazilian soccer to return to the electrifying and creative style of attacking play that made Brazil the undisputed best national team in the world in the past.

Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson can take Brazil back to futebol arte.

Assuming Brazil uses two excellent center midfielders and a quality Number 9, then the trio of Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson should make the Seleção a team to truly fear once again.

Brazil has been falling short of expectations, but the doomsday prophecies of Brazilian soccer are off base.

Brazil’s problems lay with finding a better starting line-up, and the main question marks are in the defensive midfield roles and the center forward position.

After all, Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Marcelo is an excellent Back Four, and Lucas, Neymar, and Felipe Anderson is an outstanding trio of world-class attackers.

While Lucas is a game-deciding attacker, his game is most associated with phenomenal dribbling and speed. Lucas is an excellent passer and finisher, but his speed and dribbling are huge x-factors.

Felipe Anderson combines playmaking with goal-scoring skill, and like Lucas and Neymar, he is virtually unplayable when he’s on his game.

Last season in Serie A, Felipe Anderson was the proverbial man on fire, and he and Lucas should help Neymar and the Seleção bring futebol arte back.