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Why Neymar's Form for Barcelona Can Help Brazil to Copa America Glory

Why Neymar's Form for Barcelona Can Help Brazil to Copa America Glory

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 08, 2015

No sooner has Neymar finished an incredibly successful club season with Barcelona than he is flung headlong into international duty with the Selecao.

Brazil coach Dunga will spare him the midweek friendly against Honduras, but he will expect Neymar to line up alongside his team mates for the opening Copa America game against Peru on Sunday.

With two more fixtures during the following week against Colombia and Venezuela, relaxing summer holidays are a distant possibility for a player who is fast becoming one of the most important for Barca, and is definitely the main man for his country.

Making him captain wasn't just a sensible move from Dunga, it was a masterstroke. The sense of responsibility that comes with the armband has to have helped his understanding at club level too.

Neymar has been in sensational international form. Paul Gilham/Getty Images 

A relatively average first 12 months in Blaugrana has been well and truly forgotten, Neymar's partnerships with both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez flourishing in 2014/15, particularly in the latter part of the season—culminating in Champions League glory.

Luis Enrique has energised the entire Barca squad and despite the risk associated with the same, has allowed his front three to work it out for themselves within the confines of each system that he has decided to play.

What we've seen as a result are three players who dovetail brilliantly with each other and whose natural games have become wonderfully complementary as a result.

The individual nuances of each player's game has been fine-tuned and an almost telepathic understanding has underscored their incredible scoring ratio during the campaign.

Making Neymar captain was a masterstroke by Dunga. Photo: Getty Images

For Neymar in particular, he has been given licence to work in the same manner as he does for the national side.

Despite ostensibly now being placed in a wide-left position, Neymar frequently patrols the channel in between the right full-back and centre-back.

If the balls to him have been sharp enough, and with Barca invariably they have been, the split between the lines of midfield and defence has been marked.

It's allowed Neymar more space within which to go about his work and whereas last season there was a reticence to come in off the side lines, rarely now will you see the youngster patrolling the flank.

That has become the preserve of Jordi Alba, who motors along the outside incessantly, widening the pitch and thus allowing Neymar to be at his destructive best.

The uplift in his goals and assist tallies were always going to follow on from the small, intelligent tweaks made by Enrique.

Going into this competition, Neymar remains full of confidence and playing some of the best club football of his career.

Brazil too have been unstoppable under Dunga, banishing memories of the embarrassing 7-1 drubbing by Germany, a debacle missed by Neymar because of his back injury.

Without the scars of that defeat to haunt him, Neymar continues to utilise a heady mix of pace, unrelenting skill and goals. He has already plundered an astonishing 43 in just 62 games for the national side.

Dunga may well use him more centrally in the competition allowing the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Everton Ribeiro and Willian to load the bullets, but it's clear that Neymar will need to take on even more responsibility than normal.

Brazil's squad, with respect, isn't the strongest when compared to Argentina for example but expectations will be high for a team in such a rich vein of form.

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