During an interview with Esporte Espectacular on Monday, Neymar said, “I dream of playing in Europe for a big club like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Chelsea.” Neymar has repeatedly said that he will not leave Santos until he is ready, but with such a high profile player, speculation is always lingering as to where the next world football star will land.
For years, Neymar and his outspoken father (who is also his agent) have told media sources that the youngster will not even consider leaving Santos until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and so far, they both have been true to their word. While the media has linked Neymar to nearly every big club in Europe, in the end, he will have the pick of the litter. Speculation has been that he will end up at Barcelona as he mentions them nearly every time he is asked the question and even his father and agent told marca.com over the weekend, “Barca is the prime candidate to sign Neymar. That’s what everyone says and expects.” However, with money comes persuasion and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can certainly fit the bill for such a player if he is in the mood.
In his interview with Esporte Espectacular, Neymar’s mention of Chelsea has alerted fans and given them hope. With three prominent Brazilian internationals already on the roster (Oscar, Ramires, and David Luiz), it is not out of the question that Chelsea just might be able to persuade Neymar to join his teammates and become the main attraction for The Blues. On Barcelona or Real Madrid, he would simply be just another player among the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and David Villa, or Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, and Karim Benzema. If Neymar truly wants to shine he should seriously consider joining The Blues when the time comes. His mention of them as among the top clubs he would enjoy playing for is not by accident and while the Spanish clubs have had much success in recent years, Chelsea has their own resume to point to after winning the 2012 Champions League title; and going through Barcelona to do it.
While theories as to where the next great Brazilian superstar will land continue to swirl among fans and the media, the fact is that Neymar has kept his cool and his word that he will not leave his home country of Brazil for a big European club until after the 2014 World Cup. As he told Esporte Espectacular, and he has repeated over and over again in the past several years, “There’s no point in speculating when I’ll leave Santos. I’ll leave when I want to. My place is at Santos right now.”