Opinion: Neymar steps out of Messi's Shadow?

Although long before the historic champion’s league night of March 8, 2017, there is only one god at the Camp Nou, and that god is indisputably Lionel Messi.

A football god who week in week out effortlessly discharges his professional duty artistic, supportive role and goal scoring by the generous torrent, and his adulations are a way of life for multitudes of his admirers and pundits the world over.  

Now it’s needless to go down the memory lane of his long glorious career at both club and National team level.

In a nutshell, he is synonymous with extraordinary class and flashes in the firmament of world football.

It should, however, be remembered that like God of the universe, this arguably football’s only supreme deity is surrounded by a capable army of archangels ready and willing to make light of all celestial challenge, much less that which mere mortals may pose.   

But on the night in question, Barcelona f.c walks the tightest rope possible in spite of their credentials and armory of world-class talents at its becks and calls.

Its chances of qualifying for the next phase of the competition hang in the balance because they are trailing their competitor, PSG f.c by whooping four goals from the first leg.

While there is no question as regards what these crop of talents can do when they are in their element; justifiable doubts, however, persist well into the kick off of the game and beyond.

Proverbially the battle of the night proved once more to be a rule of the forest that is far beyond the ability of a tree.

Indeed, Messi was appropriately recast into a god-in-council.

While he took the backstage, it was his able lieutenant, Neymar jr who shone like a ruby when the chips were down.

He instead led this army of aliens and spearheaded the revival from the 88 minutes on when all hopes were thinning into nothingness.

In the end, he netted two goals.

One from a free-kick that underlined his genius and another from a spot kick.

He then created one from sheer nothing in the dying minutes of the extra time which was crowned by Serge Roberto and sent the faithful crowds at the Camp Nou into frenzied jubilation.

Behold, one of the greatest come back in the history of the game has just been completed.

Like a trigger the world has been waiting for, it sent the punditry train into committing what I will call a disservice to the hero of the night.

Quite strangely, many had likened his heroic performance to one of a cast finally coming out of the perpetually looming shadow of Lionel Messi; thereby unduly benchmarking the player. But I differed!

Agreed, Messi is a class apart.

Yet Neymar like the rest of the trees in the forest of Barcelona play complementary roles; though there is plenty to suggest some towered above the other in a certain respect.

But not in the sense that one constitutes a shadow on to the others has been peddled.     

One thing we should get straight is they are all different and unique in so many respects which are what make any team tick.

Imagine if they are all same of the same. Nothing can be unforgivable.

Although Neymar may barely have scratch five-star performances all season; this is not an indication he is eclipsed by 

Messi’s shadow or anyone for that matter.

Messi is Messi just like Neymar is Neymar and that applies to the rest of this team of heroes.

They all bring their unique abilities to the table of Barcelona and must be so appreciated.

He has his unique abilities as exhaustively demonstrated on Wednesday night against PSG.

Everyone we all know suffers a dip in form at some point in their career, but class will always remain permanent.

So, Neymar’s heroic performance against PSG is only a reflection of his permanent class and not a one-off display of forced brilliance.   

Contact Form


Email *

Message *