Football

Ex-Brazil coach backs Neymar to be better than Messi

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Neymar insists he will stay at Santos until 2014 (©GettyImages)
Neymar insists he will stay at Santos until 2014 (©GettyImages).

Former-Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes Santos striker Neymar can become a better player than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Brazil striker scored one and missed a penalty as the five-time World Cup winners drew 1-1 against Colombia in America on Wednesday evening.

And Scolari believes the 20-year-old has the ability to go on and surpass the achievements of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - widely regarded as the two best players in the world.

"Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are the three best in the world," Scolari said on Goal.com.

"Neymar can reach and overcome [Ronaldo and Messi] in the coming years. Neymar would fit perfectly into [Barcelona], because he's a great player and has excellent qualities. Right now he is in Brazil and is very happy."

Messi and Ronaldo have scored more goals than anyone else in 2012, and the La Liga pair are expected to battle it out for the Ballon d'Or award in January - for which Neymar is also a nominee.

The Argentine hit an incredible 82 goals for club and country last season, while Ronaldo scored more than 60 - including 46 La Liga strikes.

Neymar hit 40 goals in 62 appearances for Brazil and Santos last term, and already has 12 in 15 appearances this campaign. But many feel the Brazilian cannot be considered among the best until he moves to Europe, although he insists he plans to stay with Santos until after the 2014 World Cup.

Scolari managed Brazil to the World Cup trophy in 2002, but believes neither Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar are as good as Pele.

"For me Pele is still the best in the world and will be for years," said Scolari.

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