No matter how good a footballer is, his or her career must come to an end at some point. Neymar is now 29 years old and nearing the end of his international career. The forward has previously stated his desire to end his international career as soon as possible.
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As a result, Brazil must seek out and bring in younger players who can fill in for him if he decides to retire. On that note, here are five players who could take Neymar’s place in the Brazilian national team:
#5 Rodrygo Goes
Rodrygo Goes, a Real Madrid whiz kid, has been dubbed the “next Neymar.” In many ways, his footballing journey is similar to Neymar’s. The 20-year-old, like Neymar, came up through Santos’ youth system and made his debut for Brazil as an 18-year-old in 2019. Rodrygo, unlike Neymar, moved to the other side of the El Clasico divide by joining Real Madrid in a €45 million switch.
The winger, like Neymar, has a bag of tricks ready to be unleashed on any defender standing between him and the goal. On his current trajectory, it is only a matter of time before he is forced to leave Ajax for a more prestigious league.
The youngster scored on his debut for Brazil and has since made three more substitute appearances for his country. His youth makes him an exciting prospect for Brazil in the coming years, and he will be a part of the Selecao set-up for the foreseeable future. Antony was also a member of Brazil’s Olympic gold-medal winning team earlier this summer.
#3 Lucas Paqueta
Lucas Paqueta is another rising Brazilian star with the Selecao, following in the footsteps of Neymar. The attacking midfielder arrived in Europe from Flamengo before suffering a difficult spell at AC Milan and being sold in a bargain deal to Olympique Lyonnais. In France, the 24-year-old rediscovered his brilliant best and has impressed when called upon by Brazil. In his 27th cap for his country, he scored the goal that qualified Brazil for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, thanks to a pass from Neymar.
Richarlison is another player who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Neymar with Brazil. Since his debut in the English Premier League as a Watford player, the Everton forward has been a standout performer. The 24-year-old is capable of playing across the frontline and has established himself as a fantastic goalscorer who can score in a variety of ways. Richarlison is one player who has played alongside Neymar on a regular basis for Brazil, having made 32 appearances for the Selecao since 2018. He has already scored ten goals for his country.
#1 Vinicius Jr
Vinicius Junior, a Real Madrid winger, has also been dubbed the “next Neymar” by Brazilian football fans. This season, the 21-year-old has advanced to a new level under Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid after adding clinical finishing to his game. Vinicius Jr’s ability to use outrageous skills and flicks previously made him quite similar to Neymar, and he has now added impressive finishing to his game.