Will Neymar lead Brazil to a fantastic start as the home nation?

Neymar turning heads with Confederations Cup form


LeBron James recently proved success can do wonders when the surrounding white noise gets loud.  A recently-crowned two-time champion James so ingeniously reminded us, “I ain’t got no worries.”

With his third brilliantly taken goal in three matches and another assist to boot, Neymar has fed many of his biggest critics their own words to munch on.

Ahead of his debut with Barcelona, who are €57 million ($74.8 million) poorer thanks to his purchase, the Brazilian youngster is showing his ability to change a game and ignite a crowd.

Even respected journalists are reconsidering things they’ve said about the new Catalan signing

Let’s recap.

Against Japan in the tournament opener, the 21-year-old begun the scoring in just the third minute by crushing Fred’s knockdown into the top corner.  It was a pressure-lifting goal, with the team having won just two of its last nine matches, and it’d been 23 months since their last competitive fixture.

Then came Mexico, whom Neymar chewed up and spit out in just nine minutes with a venomous volley past the in-form Jesus Corona.  Then, he showed he’s not just a finisher but a creator too with a wonderful short cross to substitute Jo who slotted home easily, and he should have had another assist but Hulk missed wide with a poor final ball.

Finally, the Italians were the most recent to face the Neymar chopping block.  From a tough angle and close range, he fired a bending free kick into the top corner to give them the lead for good.  Free kicks at the edge of the box can be difficult without space to put movement on the ball, but Neymar calmly converted his chance.

Neymar becomes the fourth player behind Ronaldinho, Riquelme, and David Villa as the only players to score in all three Confederations Cup group matches.

With the spotlight on his home country’s preparation for next year’s World Cup, the Brazilian youngster stepped up to the plate and delivered.  It still remains to be seen whether he can consistently deliver at the highest club level, but those back in Barcelona must be salivating at the thought of him and Messi pairing together to make maybe the most formidable strike force in the world.

At the moment, in his current form, Neymar ain’t got no worries.

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.

Mourinho “working like never before” to turn Chelsea around

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Jose Mourinho got the dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.

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Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.

Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:

“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.

“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”

What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.

[ MORE: Ozil, Coquelin say Arsenal can win the title this season ]

The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.