Brazil has qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which could be the last for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar Jr. The 29-year-old has hinted that this tournament could be his last due to the mental grind needed to play for the Seleção.
Suppose Neymar calls it a career with the Brazil national team, some wonder who will take the baton as the face of Brazilian football. In a column for UOL Esporte, Milton Neves writes that Real Madrid forward Vinícius Jr. should lead the South American country.
The Seleção has plenty of talent that could take over for Neymar heading into the 2026 World Cup like Raphina, Antony, Matheus Cunha, David Neres, Lucas Paquetá, and Rodrygo. Nonetheless, Neves writes that Vinícius has the best chance to replace Neymar.
“[Vinícius] is simply the best Brazilian active in the world today. He is simply carrying the gigantic Real Madrid on his back,” Neres wrote.
“Even if I had to bet, I would say that he is the Brazilian with more chances of winning the Ballon d’Or in the coming years.”
Considering his excellent form with Real Madrid, it will be interesting to see how Vinícius continues his trajectory heading into 2026. However, manager Tite initially left him off the call-ups for this past FIFA window until Roberto Firmino picked up an injury that resulted in his call-up.
Nonetheless, playing with Los Blancos could help Vinícius deal with the pressures that came as the face of Brazilian football.