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Santos Victory & a New King is Born

June 23, 2011

Neymar flies...above the very high...

Santos 2 x 1 Peñarol:

In their first three matches at the Libertadores, in the group stage, Santos drew twice and lost another.

Their early exit was widely prophesied, as was the departure of their biggest stars, Neymar and Ganso, both linked to European club transfers.

But then Muricy Ramalho came in; a coveted manager who wins trophies for breakfast.

11 matches later and Santos were crowned Libertadores champions.

And amongst the 11 players, there they stood: Neymar and Ganso. Still put.

The grand finale, against tough opponents Peñarol, took place in Brazil, at the Pacaembu.

It included two wonderful strikes by Elano (a man who grows younger as he ages), which were bravely saved by the hands of Sosa.

It included unbelievably inexplicable misses by Genoa-bound striker Ze Eduardo, or as he’s known in Brazil: Ze Love – who, just like love, is blind.

It included wonderful passes and brainy, elegant technique from their chief maestro: Paulo Ganso.

Who, just because he can, provided tractor-man Arouca with a delightful back-heel pass, who in turn took off like a rocket, leaving two opponents on the ground, to find Neymar…

And so Arouca presented the fauxhawkian starlet with the ball, who then mercilessly curled it into the back of the Uruguayan net: 1 x 0, at the top of the second half, after a goalless and tense 47 minutes.

Yes, the final had to include a goal by him, the new-born king: Neymar.

And what a performance he gave us…

Moments later, Danilo, another messiah of the Jogo Bonito (hey, that rhymes), performed the samba inside the box, and gracefully, almost in slow motion, landed the pellet into the net: 2 x 0.

Peñarol pulled one back: 2 x 1.

But it didn’t matter.

And an unfortunate brawl between players followed the last whistle.

But it didn’t matter.

Santos were crowned Champions of the 2011 Libertadores da America for the third time.

The last time that happened, Pele, the original King, was present, in 1963…

The King was present last night as well, but off the pitch.

From his VIP box up high, he wept as he saw Neymar and his crew weeping.

And he knew then, just like all of us knew, that his crown had found a worthy successor.

19 years of age, scrawny but firm, full of character and life, cocky and cheeky, Neymar is the latest personification of the classic Brazilian style of play.

And he’s here to stay. No longer a promise. No longer a “maybe”.

Neymar is the new king of Brazilian football, and the chief protagonist of the national side.

In Henry IV, on the weight of responsibility, Shakespeare told us that “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.”

To which Neymar could respond, through the bombastic voice of another Shakespearean creation, Falstaff:

‘Tis my vocation; ’tis no sin for a man to labour in his vocation.

Indeed, Neymar was born to be a King. And he will wear that crown well.

Just get a proper haircut first.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Florent permalink
    June 23, 2011 11:59 pm

    Neymar doesn’t have a fauxhawk, it’s a real Mohawk damn-it.

    • June 24, 2011 4:17 am

      Nope, unless both sides of his skull are totally shaven, it remains a fauxhawk! 😉

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