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5 players who can replace Neymar in the Brazil national team

Brazil v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Brazil v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
ANALYST

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar Jr has distinguished himself as arguably the best footballer of his generation

A certified superstar from his teenage years with Santos, Neymar made his national team bow after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Notably, the then 18-year-old made his senior debut for Brazil before he even played for the U-20 side in 2011. Neymar is the most expensive footballer ever, having cost €222 million to move to PSG from Barcelona.

The 29-year-old has now successfully led Brazil to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring seven goals and adding eight assists in only nine appearances in the qualifiers. Since making his debut 11 years ago, Neymar has carried the Brazil national team and is currently the second highest scorer in the history of the Selecao with 70 goals in 116 caps.

Of the active Selecao stars, the closest to Neymar in terms of goals is Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, who has 18 goals.

Neymar has contemplated calling time on his Brazil career recently

No matter how great a footballer is, their career must come to an end one day. Neymar is 29 now, and slowly coming to the end of his international career. The forward has also previously stated his desire to call time on his international career sooner rather than later.

As such, Brazil must locate and bring through younger players who can try to replace him whenever he decides to call it a day.

On that note, here are five players who could replace Neymar in the Brazil national team:


#5 Rodrygo Goes

Brazil v Bolivia - South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022
Brazil v Bolivia - South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022

Real Madrid whiz kid Rodrygo Goes is one who has been touted as the next Neymar. His footballing journey is quite similar to Neymar's in a lot of ways. The 20-year-old came through Santos' youth set-up as Neymar did, and made his debut for Brazil in 2019 as an 18-year-old.

Unlike Neymar, who joined Barcelona, Rodrygo moved to the other side of the El Clasico divide by joining Real Madrid in a €45 million switch.

Brazil's next big thing? 🇧🇷#NxGn 2020 winner 🥇Who else can't wait to see more of Rodrygo at Real Madrid? 👑 https://t.co/oHj4YFlIoq

The youngster is still learning his trade at the Santiago Bernabeu and is yet to establish himself as a starter. He has only appeared three times for Brazil in his career, all of them being substitute appearances.

Rodrygo has shown himself to be an impressive finisher despite playing on the wing, with both of his goals this season coming in only three UEFA Champions League appearances. Still only 20, Rodrygo has a long career ahead of him and can further affirm himself as Neymar's heir by leading Selecao like Neymar has.

Notably, Rodrygo is also the second-youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League.


#4 Antony

Brazil v Cote d'Ivoire: Men's Football - Olympics: Day 2
Brazil v Cote d'Ivoire: Men's Football - Olympics: Day 2

Ajax winger Antony is one of the biggest Brazilian talents currently plying his trade in Europe. The 21-year-old has lit up the Eredivisie and UEFA Champions League this season. He has scored once and assisted five goals in four Champions League appearances this term.

Full Time: Brazil 1 Colombia 0- Goal: Lucas Paquetá. - Assist: Neymar. - A physical game as expected, Brazil had issues until we made the substitutions, Antony made a big impact off the bench. - Neymar & Paquetá’s quick combination gets us the 3 points. https://t.co/5PnoBqw68i

Like Neymar, the winger has a bag of tricks ready to be unleashed on any defender that stands between him and the goal. On the current trajectory, it is only a matter of time before he has to leave Ajax to a bigger league.

The youngster scored on his Brazil debut and has gone on to make three more substitute appearances for his country. His age makes him an exciting prospect for Brazil in the years to come, and he will be part of the Selecao set-up for years to come. Antony was also part of the Brazil team that won the Olympic Gold medal earlier this summer.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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