Former Argentina star Claudio Caniggia says Brazil superstar Neymar’s biggest attribute is his imagination, but said it will not be enough to surpass Lionel Messi’s greatness.

The former Boca Juniors and River Plate man was confident the 20-year-old would reach great heights in the game, but said he needs time to become one of the best.

One of Neymar’s biggest attributes, according to Caniggia, was his ability to think spontaneously on the ball, constantly surprising his opponents with unpredictable movements.

"Neymar is a great player. Surely, as I always say, Neymar is a player with more imagination in the world,” he is quoted as saying by Sambafoot.com.

"He has a lot of imagination, is creative and finds different ways to score and create a move.

"He will surely be one of the best. He is only 20 years old. We have to give him time. Within a few years, he will be one of the best."

However, the 45-year-old, who also had a spell with Rangers in Scotland, insisted we were in the age of Barcelona star Messi, saying his fellow Argentinean was certain to be regarded as one of the greatest of all time when his career was over.

Although he would not say who was the best, he likened him to football great such as Pele and Diego Maradona.

“This is the era of Messi. There will always be many stories of the careers of players like him. How was Pele, Cruyff, Di Stefano, Maradona ... No matter the order of who is the best,” he added.

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Neymar in recent months, so the new star of the Brazil national team may have the chance to prove whether or not he can compete with Messi at the Camp Nou.

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