Neymar is the best player in the world who is not playing in Europe and that will not be changing anytime soo.
Speaking in Montevideo after receiving the El Pais newspaper’s award for South American player of the year for the second straight year Neymar was quoted as saying:
“it is not yet the time” to play in Europe even as his name continues to be associated with trade rumors.
“Everyone is asking me this but I have a contract with Santos through 2014,” Neymar told reporters at the ceremony. “I am happy in Brazil with my family and friends.
Neymar said he expects 2013 to be “a marvelous year.” He played down comparisons to Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who won his fourth straight Ballon d’Or on Monday, and said that his main focus was the Brazil national team and Santos.
“That is not what I’m looking for,” Neymar told reporters. “My goal is to help Santos and the Brazilian team. To be the best player in the world is a consequence of that work.”
Santos president Paulo Schiff compared Neymar to Pele, who spent most of his playing career at the club before joining the New York Cosmos.
“In 30 years, no other Brazilian club has been able to keep onto a great player except us with Neymar. We have refused offers from Barcelona, Chelsea and other clubs,” Schiff told the media present.
“We want him to have a great career with Santos like the King Pele during his heyday.”
While a lot of Brazilian stars are heading back to their native country to play, the quality of play in the Brazilian league is not as good as the top leagues in Europe. So by playing against “weaker” opposition Neymar is not developing as quickly as he would if he was at say Barcelona.
I understand his wish to stay in Brazil until after the 2014 World Cup, but in the long run, his game will develop further when he finally moves to Europe and probably Spain.