Two time World Cup winner Cafu have lavished praise on Neymar’s ability, making a stunning claim involving six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
Neymar played alongside Messi at Barcelona between 2013 and 2017, in that time they won two La Liga titles and the Champions League together before the former left for PSG.
Many believed that move to be the 28-year-old’s attempt to step out of the shadow of Messi, and he has gone on to score 69 goals in 80 games having tired to force a move back to Spain in the summer.
Messi said recently: “The truth is I would have loved him to come back to us.”
Although they worked brilliant as team-mates, Cafu has now been asked whether Neymar has reached his potential, to which he offered a bold comparison to Messi.
He told Fox Sports: “Technically, Neymar is the best player in the world.
“Today, technically, nobody can beat Neymar. Not even Messi, although I am a fan of him.
“But he does not surpass him in terms of technical quality.”
Cafu went on to discuss why Brazil have failed to win either the World Cup or Copa American with Neymar in their side, to which he suggested a lack of leadership.
He added: “Today I don't see any leader within the Brazilian team.
“Today I don't see anyone who says this to Neymar: ‘Oh, don’t do this’ or ‘Do this’. There is not!
“They gave him that responsibility, and it's not his profile. It’s not that he doesn't want to, but because it's not his profile.”
Cafu added of Brazilian hopes: “I speak again here, he is our greatest hope for winning a World Cup.
“With Neymar on the pitch, whether he wants it or not, eight opponents will stay connected to him.
“He is a reference, he makes room for others, he scores extraordinary goals, but, really, someone is missing who covers, someone is lacking the strength to fit in around him.”
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