Neymar can emulate the great Pele by helping Santos claim their first Copa Libertadores since 1963.The 19-year-old lines up for Santos in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final against Uruguayan champions Penarol on Wednesday, with the tie delicately poised at 0-0 after the first leg in Montevideo.
The youthful striker is linked with a move to several big European clubs, but he is planning one more triumph – the Copa – before he moves continents.
The closest Santos have come to winning the Copa Libertadores in recent times was a loss in the 2003 final to Boca Juniors, and Neymar would love to lead the side glory for the first time since the great Pele achieved the feat in 1962 and 1963.
Santos goalkeeper Felipe said the players would be going all out for victory on Wednesday.
“The fans can rest assured that we will fight, that we will attack, and if we have to leave the field bleeding or if we have to leave the field with lots of injuries, we will in order to become champions,” Felipe said.
Paulo Henrique Ganso, 21, is another Santos youth product that intends to leave for Europe after the final.
He missed the first leg with injury but should be available for manager Muricy Ramalho in the second, and although he has been tipped to make way for the youngster, midfielder Ze Eduardo said he will respect the manager’s decision.
“Ganso is a great player; one of the best players out there,” Ze Eduardo said.
“But I think we must respect Muricy’s decision. He’s the one who chooses the team. And whoever is out there, be it Ganso, myself or anyone else, I’m sure this person will put all their effort to hopefully win the title.”