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fifth-greatest scorer


Posted 1:58 am, 11/09/2018

SAO PAULO - Despite being only 22 years old, Neymar has already done enough to be ranked among Brazils greatest players of all time. Bill Bates Jersey .If he can keep it up, not even the great Pele may be standing in front of him when the youngster hangs up his boots.Brazils most promising player in decades is living up to expectations and has set himself on a path to greatness. He is enchanting with his brilliance and putting up numbers that few others have achieved at his age.He is already Brazils fifth-greatest scorer with 40 goals with the national team, and is well on pace to surpass Peles record of 77 as the nations most prolific scorer.If Neymar keeps scoring like this, he may break Peles record before he turns 28, in 2020. Pele was only two months older than Neymar when he netted his 40th goal. Only Pele and Romario have a better goal average than Neymar with the national team.I am very happy and proud of the progress of Neymar since he moved to play in Europe, Pele told The Associated Press in an email. This season, he keeps proving that hes one of the best players in the world. His growth as a player is fantastic and very beneficial for the Selecao.Among the few Brazilians who have more goals than Neymar are Zico, Romario and Ronaldo, longtime heroes in the land of soccer.Neymar reached his 40th goal after scoring four times in a friendly against Japan last month, and in the coming weeks he has a chance to move closer to Zicos mark of 48 goals when Brazil plays friendlies against Turkey and Austria. Romario has 55 goals in official matches with the Selecao, while Ronaldo had 62.We both came from Santos FC where we developed the same set of skills: creativity, passing, clinical finishing and, of course, insatiable hunger for goals, Pele told the AP.While Pele spent most of his career in Brazil, Neymar was quick to move to European soccer. He went straight from Santos to Barcelona, and it didnt take long for him to start succeeding alongside the likes of Lionel Messi.In Brazil, many say Neymar already has what it takes to become the best player in the world.Maybe it wont happen this year, but by next year he will be named the best in the world, Im certain, former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira told Brazilian media recently. Hes already an idol.Neymar had just started to catch everyones attention when Zico, the star of Brazils 1982 World Cup team, said the youngster could become as good as Pele or Diego Maradona.He does things that Maradona was never able to do, Zico told local channel Esporte Interativo a few years ago. Maradona was as great as he was thanks to what he could do with his left foot, but he was never able to use his right leg effectively. Neymar has this ability to play well using both of his legs.But even Zico pointed to some of Neymars weaknesses at the time, including his less-than superb heading skills, an area where Pele thrived. Neymar also was criticized because of his dives and for failing to perform well with the national team early in his career.He has steadily improved in most areas and is a much more mature player today. Neymar has been diving less often and is behaving better both on and off the field. A season playing alongside the best in the world in Europe helped him progress rapidly.He also improved with the national team, becoming Brazils captain and the player carrying the fans hopes for a sixth world title.I dont know what my limit is, Neymar said after he surpassed Bebeto as Brazils fifth-best scorer. Im not thinking about surpassing Pele, thats not my goal. My goal is to keep scoring to help the national team and to help my teammates.Its not only the goals that make Neymar a special player.He lacks the physical strength that Pele used to have, and also doesnt seem to have the same above-average quick-thinking of the three-time World Cup champion, but Neymar has similar light-footed skills and uses his incredible speed to make up for some of his weaknesses. Like Pele, Ronaldo and Romario, he also has outstanding precision on his finishes.Neymar does have some advantages over players such as Ronaldo and Romario, who became stars mostly because of their goal-scoring ability. Neymar is not only about scoring goals, he is more of a playmaker, and uses his ball skills and speed to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. Ronaldo used mostly his strength to get past defenders, while Romario was more about using good positioning inside the area and precise strikes.Contrary to a classic No. 10 such as Zico, who had outstanding ball control and was always trying to put his teammates in position to score, Neymar is constantly challenging defenders and using his dribbling skills to get near the opponents area.Although it remains too early to tell how Neymar will be compared to other Brazilian greats, its likely that his success will depend largely on whether he can win with Brazil and lead the five-time world champion back to its glory days.Pele had already won two World Cups by the time he was 22. Neymar missed out on a chance to win his first world title thanks in part to a back injury that ruled him out of some of this years tournament in Brazil.And there is always the chance that Neymar may never be as good as everyone expects, as happened to Robinho, who also was touted as a promising star when he transferred to European soccer as a 21-year-old. Also a Santos player, Robinho moved to Real Madrid instead of Barcelona, but never played up to expectations.He played in two World Cups and remains with the national team, but never became the type of star that Brazilians had hoped for after he started making headlines as a teenager.Only time will tell if Neymar will be more like Robinho or more like Pele.___Follow Tales Azzoni at http://www.twitter.com/tazzoni Michael Irvin Jersey . Span, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche had two hits apiece as Washington won the final two games of the series. The Nationals improved to 3-7 against Atlanta. They increased their division lead over the Braves to 1 1/2 games. Wholesale Dallas Cowboys Jerseys . I kept my eyes focused up on the camera during each approach. I just tried to stay focused on my form, as I didnt know what the ball reaction was. I was quite emotional at the end. I did not actually see any of the shots in the game until I got home and watched the video.ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues were 2 for 2 to open the shootout. Robin Lehner was thinking, oh no, not again. The Ottawa Senators backup goalie shut the door the rest of the way and ended a career oh-fer in shootouts. "Hopefully, this will break a curse," Lehner said after Kyle Turris scored the deciding goal in the fifth round for a 5-4 Senators victory Tuesday night. "I know I can be good at it. Ive had a few bad ones in the beginning that snowballed and got in my head." Lehner had been 0-6 in shootouts, allowing 12 goals on 24 shots. It was 14 goals on 26 attempts after T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen scored for St. Louis, but Lehner regrouped to stop Vladimir Tarasenko, Kevin Shattenkirk and Maxim Lapierre. Mika Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa also scored in the tiebreaker for Ottawa. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak had been 4-1 in shootouts, allowing just three goals on 16 shots. "To have the type of response we had in the third, to tie it up, to get the two points in a tough building against a very good team is huge," Turris said. "Robbie played unreal. Stood on his head." Oshie had a goal and an assist in regulation for the Blues, who lost at home to an Eastern Conference opponent for the first time in 10 games this season. St. Louis had a season-high 50 shots but squandered a two-goal cushion in the third period and missed two chances to close it out in the shootout. The Blues were 0 for 7 on the power play. St. Louis gave up a 2-1 lead in its last game at Nashville, then won in a shootout. "Were probably taking a step the wrong way when weve got the game in good hands," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Were turning pretty comfortable games into track meets." Jason Spezza had his third three-point game of the season and capped a three-goal flurry in a span of 2:35 that gave Ottawa a 4-3 lead midway through the third. Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist to give him 53 points, best among NHL defencemen. Turris also scored a goal. Blues defenceman Jordan Leopold tied it at 11:08 with his first of the season on an odd-angled shot that banged off Lehner. The attendance of 14,758 was more than 4,000 shy of capacity at the Scottrade Center, the crowd held down by a snowstorm that left roadways cloggeed. Deonte Thompson Jersey. The Blues also set a season best with 23 shots in a two-goal second period, seemingly taking control with a 3-1 lead despite coming up empty with more than 2 minutes of a two-man advantage. "I think theres things weve got to clean up," Oshie said. "I dont think weve got to get too down on ourselves. "The guys that made the mistakes, they know that they made them. Well clean them up. Were going to be fine." The puck got lodged in the netting on Oshies goal that made it 3-2, a score that went unannounced until after Oshie pointed out the pucks location and then the play was reviewed. "It was still hanging there and people started shovelling the ice and I wanted to argue my case," Oshie said. "I knew it was in." Ottawa beat Jaroslav Halak for three goals in a span of four shots in the third, with Milan Michalek and Turris scoring. The Senators bounced back from a 2-1 overtime loss at Pittsburgh a night earlier. Besides scoring his first goal in 38 games with St. Louis over two seasons, Leopold also saved one in the second period. Karlssons shot trickled between Halaks pads and was on the goal line and still sliding when the defenceman swatted it away. The game began with the promise of fisticuffs from the Blues as retribution for an elbow to the head by Ottawas Zack Smith that was blamed for the concussion that sidelined Steen for 11 games in late December. Rugged Ryan Reaves was picked to take the opening faceoff for the Blues, presumably set to square off with Smith, but both players were whistled for minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the opening minute and both teams settled down. Turris tied it on a pass that deflected off the skate of a Blues player at 7:02, and Spezza capitalized when the Blues failed to clear the puck out of the zone and beat Halak with a high drive that ticked off the stick of a defenceman for his 15th goal of the season and a 4-3 lead. NOTES: The Blues had outscored Eastern Conference foes 43-13 while going 9-0 to start the season. ... Leopold has six points in 22 games this season. ... Ottawa D Chris Phillips (lower body) missed his fifth straight game. ... 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