Jun 22, 2013, 5:14 PM EDT
LeBron James recently proved success can do wonders when the surrounding white noise gets loud. A recently-crowned two-time champion James so ingeniously reminded us, “I ain’t got no worries.”
With his third brilliantly taken goal in three matches and another assist to boot, Neymar has fed many of his biggest critics their own words to munch on.
Ahead of his debut with Barcelona, who are €57 million ($74.8 million) poorer thanks to his purchase, the Brazilian youngster is showing his ability to change a game and ignite a crowd.
Even respected journalists are reconsidering things they’ve said about the new Catalan signing
I'm one of the many Neymar doubters who is being force fed humble pie during this tournament.—
Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) June 22, 2013
Against Japan in the tournament opener, the 21-year-old begun the scoring in just the third minute by crushing Fred’s knockdown into the top corner. It was a pressure-lifting goal, with the team having won just two of its last nine matches, and it’d been 23 months since their last competitive fixture.
Then came Mexico, whom Neymar chewed up and spit out in just nine minutes with a venomous volley past the in-form Jesus Corona. Then, he showed he’s not just a finisher but a creator too with a wonderful short cross to substitute Jo who slotted home easily, and he should have had another assist but Hulk missed wide with a poor final ball.
Finally, the Italians were the most recent to face the Neymar chopping block. From a tough angle and close range, he fired a bending free kick into the top corner to give them the lead for good. Free kicks at the edge of the box can be difficult without space to put movement on the ball, but Neymar calmly converted his chance.
Neymar becomes the fourth player behind Ronaldinho, Riquelme, and David Villa as the only players to score in all three Confederations Cup group matches.
With the spotlight on his home country’s preparation for next year’s World Cup, the Brazilian youngster stepped up to the plate and delivered. It still remains to be seen whether he can consistently deliver at the highest club level, but those back in Barcelona must be salivating at the thought of him and Messi pairing together to make maybe the most formidable strike force in the world.
At the moment, in his current form, Neymar ain’t got no worries.
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