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.
Apr 20, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
Red Devils rocking, as Everton come out flying:
Apr 20, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
With the Miami port vehemently against the new stadium deal, Miami’s mayor comes to Beckham’s side.
Apr 20, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil were back in the starting lineup and Arsenal looked like a rejuvenated bunch.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT
David Moyes returns to his old home as Everton continues their fight for a Champions League place.
Apr 20, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT
It’s been nearly five months since his last goal, but Aaron Ramsey picked up where he left off to give Arsenal the lead at KC.
Apr 20, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT
Raheem Sterling shined and they held off a charging Norwich at the end to go five points clear at the top.
Apr 20, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Mesut Ozil returns for Arsenal after a 6-week absence, can he lead Arsenal’s charge for the top four?
Apr 20, 2014, 7:48 AM EDT
With a reduced role under David Moyes, Welbeck may search elsewhere in the Premier League for a better managerial relationship.
Apr 20, 2014, 7:13 AM EDT
The Reds are well on their way to going top, but Norwich are battling with attacks of their own.
Apr 20, 2014, 6:37 AM EDT
It’s all on the line for both teams this morning in a massive game for each end of the table. Liverpool can put one hand on the title trophy with a win today, going five clear at the top.
Apr 20, 2014, 4:57 AM EDT
Liverpool can go five clear before David Moyes makes his return to Goodison Park.
Apr 20, 2014, 3:53 AM EDT
Dallas stayed at the top of the Western Conference, while Seattle improved to 3-0-1 on the road.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:39 AM EDT
Seattle’s high-priced strike tandem produced another late winner, giving the Sounders their fourth win of the season.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:51 AM EDT
Two huge saves in the final minutes from Nick Rimando keep RSL unbeaten.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:05 AM EDT
Goal difference has the defending champions on top of the Eastern Conference.
Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 AM EDT
Two more goals off set pieces gave FC Dallas its fifth win of the season.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:55 PM EDT
Juan Guzman gave Giancarlo Gonzalez a pass. Columbus came back to claim a draw.
Apr 19, 2014, 10:11 PM EDT
Two separate leads were pulled back as the Whitecaps fought back at BC Place.
Apr 19, 2014, 9:24 PM EDT
NBC’s team on the scene reacts to the day’s big result:
Apr 19, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
San Jose remains without a win beside playing the second place Rapids to a standstill.
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