Aug 5, 2012, 6:36 PM EDT
Real Madrid. Barcelona. A bunch of English clubs. This is the established field for the next big thing in world soccer: Brazilian attacker Neymar, currently on display at the London Olympics.
We’re in our second year of speculation as to where the 20-year-old will land. Last winter, the ever-reliable Harry Harris reported that a deal was done with Real Madrid. Barcelona links abound, ignoring the facts that (a) Neymar has a contract that takes him through Brazil 2014, and (b) he’s earning very good money to stay in Brazil. So close to the World Cup being hosted in his home nation, it would be a major upset (on two levels) if the Sao Paulo-born, Sao Paulo-raised, Sao Paulo-living star left the state before one of the country’s signature moments.
Why new Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova would have to deny his club’s interest in Neymar confounds me. I’m sure that Barça are interested in Neymar, on some level. I don’t even have a team, and I’m interested in him. But it should go without saying: It’s a waste of time for media covering a Spanish team to dwell on a Brazil-based player a year-and-a-half, two years away from a potential move.
Here’s what the new Barcelona coach had to say about his club’s hypothetical pursuit of Neymar:
“I’ve never talked about the signing of Neymar for Barcelona,” Vilanova said Sunday, his team coming off a defeat of Paris Saint-Germain. “What’s happened is that you, the journalists, have brought it up.”
Seems pretty cut-and-dry, but I have a secret to share. I’m not supposed to reveal this trick of the trade – I might be kicked out of the Soccer Bloggers Union for this – but there’s a handbook you receive via email after you’ve been writing for six months. It’s only six pages long, five of which deal with how to optimize local government services in the absence of wages and benefits. But the last page is devoted to cultivating transfer rumors – the most important part of soccer journalism.
According to the guidelines, the appropriate headlines to draw from Vilanova’s comments are:
(a) Barcelona coy on Neymar pursuit!
(b) Vilanova kept in dark about Neymar purchase!!
(c) Vilanova erupts as secret Neymar plans revealed!!!
At no point are we to acknowledge that Neymar rumors are a complete waste of time, being pursued for a lack of better ideas, and probably wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for search engines.
But who am I to complain? I just wrote 400 words on the story. Hypocrite.
May 23, 2013, 11:24 PM EDT
Manchester City overcame a 3-goal deficit at Busch Stadium in St. Louis as Edin Dzeko bagged a brace to beat Chelsea 4-3.
May 23, 2013, 11:03 PM EDT
Just days after Jose Mourinho mutually parted ways with Real Madrid, he will be completing a deal to become Chelsea’s next manager, says Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports via Twitter.
May 23, 2013, 9:54 PM EDT
Roberto Martinez has given himself more time to decide on his future at Wigan, and also gave them a wish list.
May 23, 2013, 8:44 PM EDT
Asmir Begovic is apparently intending on showing up at the door of another club to start training.
May 23, 2013, 7:16 PM EDT
AS Monaco, rich with the injection of money from a Russian tycoon, are set to make a huge splash, possibly as much as €70 million.
May 23, 2013, 6:35 PM EDT
The United States U-18 squad drew with the hosts in the middle of three group-stage matches during the 19th Annual Lisbon International Juniors Tournament.
May 23, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT
20-year-old Jonathan Osorio picked up his debut call-up to the Canadian national team along with three other Toronto FC teammates ahead of their friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday.
May 23, 2013, 5:11 PM EDT
“Football clubs live on and we’ll live on, we’ll move on.” They’ll move on, they have to. But will they effectively?
May 23, 2013, 3:56 PM EDT
With the upcoming Champions League final this weekend featuring an all-German cast, Germany secured another massive Champions League achievement today.
May 23, 2013, 3:33 PM EDT
Anyone else bothered by the way Bayern Munich have conducted themselves ahead of this Saturday’s Champions League final?
May 23, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT
Sunderland’s central defender will say goodbye to the English Premier League in exchange for a switch stateside.
May 23, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT
Chelsea fans will be delighted, while those supporting Manchester City are sure to question who’s on their team’s mind.
May 23, 2013, 1:37 PM EDT
Should the champions of the Europa League be awarded a spot in the following season’s Champions League?
May 23, 2013, 12:07 PM EDT
The city’s decision to permit Columbus to wear angers Espanyol fans, who believe Barca receives too much support from local institutions.
May 23, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT
Despite notching an impressive 104 goals in 185 matches since moving to the Bernabeu in 2007, Higuain has struggled this season.
May 23, 2013, 10:04 AM EDT
With Arsenal rumored to be courting Swansea center-back Ashley Williams, Thomas Vermaelen has some decisions to make.
May 22, 2013, 11:51 PM EDT
Serie A’s two Milanese clubs have yet to move for new head coaches.
May 22, 2013, 11:06 PM EDT
Over the last three months, Rafa Benítez has reignited a floundering career.
May 22, 2013, 10:14 PM EDT
The hits just keep on coming for the NWSL’s hard-luck team.
May 22, 2013, 9:20 PM EDT
The U.S. Open Cup draws sometimes need a decoder ring to decipher. Here’s a quick-and-dirty look at the MLS teams’ futures.
- Yahoo! reports: Mourinho to sign 4-year deal with Chelsea, will be unveiled June 2 0
- Anyone else think Bayern Munich is playing dirty? 6
- With PSG willing to match Wayne Rooney’s wages, Manchester United has somebody to bail them out 3
- Looking at the United States’ roster ahead of their Canada rematch 1
- A stadium for New York City FC – tougher than you think 9
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (35)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (18)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (14)
- Gareth Bale set to re-sign with Tottenham – But is it a good deal for the Welshman? (9)
- Possible temporary homes for New York City FC (9)
- Watch LIVE: Sharks-Kings, Game 5
- PHT: Wings push Hawks to brink of elimination
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional
- OlyTalk: Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- CSN: Francona returns to Boston | Legacy?
- Posnanski: Hornets more than a name to Charlotte