Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brazil - the next generation

Once again Brazil failed at the World Cup despite entering the competition as favourites. Robinho looked to have sent them on their way to the last four in Port Elizabeth before a Wesley Sneijder brace put the Dutch through instead. The expected fightback never came and for a second World Cup in a row the world's most valued soccer nation trooped off into the shadows.

So once again, young starlets are emerging post-
tournament to raise the spirits of the seleçao.
And most hopes are being pinned on the Santos duo of Ganso and Neymar.

Paulo Henrique Chagas de Lima, known as 'Ganso', is a 21 year-old number ten, has drawn comparisons with Zinedine Zidane and seems the obvious replacement for Kaka once he hangs up his boots. His first game in the yellow and green was in last August's 2-0 friendly win over the USA.

The name of Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, who turns 19 this week, has been in global circulation a little longer, as he exploded onto the scene as a 17 year-old striker, but only made his Brazil debut in the same friendly last summer, bagging the opening goal.

Needless to say, almost every big European club has been linked with the duo, especially with Neymar, and one hopes neither young man will risk hopping across the Atlantic too soon.

With Brazil sure to be a force in 2014 with the World Cup on home soil, this young pair from Pelé's old club could be following in the great man's footsteps and raising gold to the sky...




-Sean O'Conor

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