Ronaldo Nazario Discusses Neymar’s Brazil legacy

Neymar's Legacy in Brazil

It is hard to believe that Brazil's super winger turned 30 this year. He has always been a controversial figure in football on and off the field, but needless to say he is definitely amongst the best players in the game. When playing for Brazil, Neymar has a strong fanbase, but there are those who would say he is overrated or does not have the right attitude to be representing Brazil.

Despite this, Neymar is now within touching distance of becoming Brazil's all-time top goal scorer, beating the record set by Pele. Neymar currently has 70 goals and needs only 8 more to beat Pele's record of 77 goals. Whatever anyone may say about Neymar, he always takes his international duty as an honour.

After scoring against Peru in the Copa America and claiming his 68th goal, the Brazilian was brought to tears. Speaking afterwards he described how he found the moment particularly moving following a difficult two years and that he hopes to bring joy to his fans and make his family proud.

Many former players for the Selecao praised the winger for his accomplishments in football.

Ronaldo Nazario spoke to the former Inter Milan forward Christian Vieri on Vieri's tv show about the issues surrounding Neymar's legacy and why he was criticised so much during his career. During the interview, Nazario expressed his admiration for Neymar and said that he hopes he does win the world cup and surpass Pele. He also suggested that it is unfair that Neymar comes in for criticism for his private life.

But his private life may not be the only reason why many feel Neymar will never leave the same kind of legacy as the Brazilian legends of the past.

The Missing World Cup Trophy

Neymar has never managed to win the FIFA World Cup with Brazil. Brazil have not won the trophy since 2002 and for many, this would be the final step for Neymar to cement his status as a true Brazilian footballing legend. Perhaps the most hurtful moment in Neymar's career was the 2014 World Cup quarter finals. In the campaign, Neymar led the Brazilian team as captain for the first time in his career, and he helped bring a strong Brazilian team to the quarter finals.

They played Colombia, and while they won it was not without consequence. Neymar suffered a serious back injury when Colombian Camilo Zuniga kneed him in his back. It was later revealed that he had a lumbar vertebrae fracture and his playing career was almost ruined.

To make matters worse, Brazil went into the semi-finals without their talisman, and played against Germany who beat them in a huge upset 7-1.

Thankfully Neymar fully recovered and returned to international football, playing in the 2018 World Cup but they were knocked out in the quarter finals by a young and strong Belgian team.

Qatar 2022

With the Qatar World Cup coming up in November this year, it may be the last chance Neymar has to play in a World Cup. If Neymar manages to bring the World Cup back to Brazil, whilst beating Pele’s record at the same time, there is no doubt that he would be able to step onto the pantheon of Brazilian football players who have graced the game.

It will certainly not be easy, but Brazil still has two qualifying matches in March, and if Neymar manages to close the gap on Pele’s scoring record, he may be within touching distance of the record by the time the World Cup starts.

Even if he does not manage to bring World Cup glory to Brazil, an argument can be made that he still deserves recognition for his service to the team and his accomplishments on the field.