It's been a while since we've had a Neymar update, primarily because he was completely and utterly failing to do much of anything at the Copa America for the last few weeks. Now that he's been knocked out with Brazil, one would expect the rumours to start up afresh... and indeed they have. The opening volley in the post-Copa chapter of the Great Neymar Story of 2011 sees our young, poorly-coiffed hero claim that he's totally content to play out his days in Santos, and totally doesn't want to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona at all.
I'm a Santos player. Santos is my future*. I've become more mature. I learned a lot playing with Santos in the Copa Libertadores and I leave [Argentina] with even more maturity after playing in my first Copa America.
-Neymar. Source: ESPN Soccernet.
*NB: This might not look very definitive, but the question he was supposedly replying to was something along the lines of 'where are you going to be playing next year.
Obviously, I don't believe a word of it. Nothing Neymar, his agent or Santos have said in the past few months has been done without the expectation that it'll increase Neymar's price on the open market, and I'm assuming that this is more of the same. There's no reason to take anything about this story seriously at all.
All in all, I'm just totally sick of the Neymar story. Luka Modric? Javier Pastore? Those, at least, are interesting, and noteworthy. The Neymar saga isn't even close to being not-awful. And do you know how ex-engineers best express disgust? With a graph, of course!
Figure 1: A Neymar smiles timeline (mouseover nodes for comments). Powered by Tableau
And yes, this does mean Tableau is working for me again. Rejoice (unless you hate graphs), for there will be more graphs now. Anyway, my Tableau fetish aside, is anyone else absolutely sick to death of the whole Neymar business? I don't even want him on the team anymore. Rot in Santos, go to Madrid, go to Barcelona. I just don't care anymore.