While the rest of the world continues to gush over Argentine star Lionel Messi, football fans in Brazil are buzzing about 18-year-old Neymar da Silva, already known simply as Neymar.
Neymar scored five goals for Santos in an 8-1 victory over Guarani (watch video below), and scouts from Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City reportedly have traveled to South America to get a glimpse of him.
Fans, reporters and even Brazilian greats such as Pelé and Romario are urging World Cup coach Dunga to consider taking Neymar to South Africa this summer. He is being dubbed “the Brazilian Messi.”
“After each minute and each second that goes by, I see myself wearing the Selecao jersey,” Neymar said. “I’ve been trying to play well and score goals. Hopefully Dunga is watching. The dream is not over. Every player wants to be in the national team. I’m glad to have so many people wanting me to be in the national team. I’ll keep playing hard; hopefully there’s a spot left for me.”
Neymar has played for Brazil’s Under-16 and Under-17 teams but never has been called up to a senior national team camp.
Dunga is expected to name Robinho, Adriano, Nilmar and Luis Fabiano to the roster, and there might not be room for another attacker.
Neymar and Robinho have made Santos the most explosive team in the Brazilian league. Pelé’s former club has 53 goals in 10 games, and 90 in 26 matches this season. Neymar leads the team with 19 goals.