World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Neymar, the Brazil forward?

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?

With 97 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.

97. Neymar (Brazil)

Having signed for Barcelona in the summer of 2013, the 22-year-old Brazilian forward has enjoyed an impressive first season in Cataluna since his controversial move from South American outfit FC Santos and has continued his imperious form for the national side in the process.

In just 47 appearances for his country, Neymar has found the net 30 times leaving him just three behind former Barca man and England tormentor Ronaldinho – but still a staggering 47 behind Brazilian legend Pele. In a dress rehearsal for this year’s World Cup, he helped guide Brazil to the 2013 Confederations Cup title, contributing four goals to his side’s success including the second in their 3-0 rout of world champions Spain in the final.

In 2011, his strike against Flamengo - where he embarked on a mesmerising run past three defenders before finishing smartly – not only showed his incredible control at high speed but also earned him recognition from his fellow professionals in the form of the Fifa Puskas Award. Incredibly, in the two years that followed he made the top three for two more sublime efforts, one for domestic club Santos and another for his goal against Japan in the Confederations Cup.

Did you know? Neymar shares his birthday with Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Paulo Maldini. That’d be some birthday party.