Three of the four Rio clubs boast average gates of 10,000 or less, Santos are often watched by around 5,000, particularly when Neymar isn’t playing, and the recent game between Atlético Goianiense and Sport attracted a grand total of 449 paying customers.
Neymar remains in Brazil, and if he stays, will spend the months leading up to the World Cup pitting his wits against sides which will fail to test him.
To Neymar, Thiago Silva, and the rest of Brazil`s crestfallen Olympians, the silver medals doled out after defeat by an admirable Mexico must have felt more like pewter. However, those decrying the state of the footballing nation, and baying for the head of coach Mano Menezes, might be jumping the gun.
While much of the hype is justified, Neymar has a great deal to learn about playing against tough defences.
A whole new generation of South American talent is being nurtured. While some players, like Brazil international Neymar, are already world famous there are many more yet to establish themselves.
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