Neymar. One name, one man – a man who has flirted with the line between genius and madman. He is known for dizzying displays of skills on the football field, but what about off the field?
Neymar presents some powerful lessons about the kinds of people we want to be. To some, he’s a primadonna, but to many more, he’s an inspiration, an example of what you can do when you’re not afraid to hold back.
If we were all willing to throw ourselves into things the way he does, what might we learn?
Show Your Flair
If you can be guaranteed of one thing when Neymar is on the football field, it’s that you are about to be treated to a bit of Brazilian flair. The goalscorer frequently pulls off incredible trickery and skills that no-one else would attempt.
When you have the chance to show that kind of ability off, you have to take it.
Know Your Worth
The man is a footballing genius – someone you desperately want on your team, and desperately don’t want to play against. So, when he completed a record-breaking move from Barcelona to Paris St. Germain, some criticized him – but many realized he was just going to get what he deserved.
Whether it’s a pay raise or a relationship, there’s a big lesson there about what you can do if you are willing to believe that you’re worth it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show What You Can Do
Again, Neymar can draw criticism – for being selfish, or for needlessly showing off. But that criticism misses the heart of what he’s about.
If you can do something no one else can, why shouldn’t you show it off, and be rewarded for it?
Go It Alone (if you have to)
Neymar left Barcelona knowing that he was leaving the most dominant offensive force in football at that time. But he did it knowing that he could forge his own path as a player, and create something for himself.
It takes courage to step out alone, and more than that to make it work. But it’s often the right choice.
Believe in What Matters
At the end of the day, despite the criticism, this is a man who can do incredible things, and he still cares about the right stuff. No one who saw how distraught he and the other Brazilian players were at the 2014 World Cup could think that he had anything other than desire and passion for the game.
Find what really matters, and care about that above all else.
Neymar will be a force in international football for years to come. But, despite dividing opinion, he will no doubt remain a powerful symbol in people’s minds for far longer than that – an individual who wasn’t afraid to be a symbol of genius.