Lionel Messi has two years left at top - Scolari

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Four-time Ballon d'Or winner - and arguably the most gifted footballer of all time - Lionel Messi, only has two years left as the best player in the world, according to Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The 64-year-old, who is back managing Brazil after winning the World Cup with the South American country in 2002, hailed the Barcelona star's ability - but is convinced that his powers will begin to wane before the 2018 World Cup finals.

"I think that Lionel Messi will continue to be the best player in the world for the next two years or so," Scolari told the German football association's official website, according to "Messi not only plays for the team, but he also has amazing individual skills. He can decide a match all by himself with his ability."

No prizes for guessing who Scolari thinks will succeed Messi as the best player in the world. After working closely with Messi's new Barcelona team-mate Neymar, Scolari is sure that the 21-year-old can emulate the Argentina international.

"Now that he's at Barcelona, Neymar can show his technical abilities and make the same individual actions as Messi," Scolari added. "His first year in Spain will mainly be about learning things and adapting to a new tactical formation. In Brazil we don't think as much about tactics as in Europe and Neymar will have to adapt. 

"He is eager to learn, though, and will play at a higher level than in Brazil in the Spanish Liga and the Champions League."

Neymar, who inspired Brazil to victory in the Confederations Cup earlier this summer, has already started to showcase his class with his new employers - scoring a couple of goals on the club's pre-season tour of the Far East.

But will be live up to Scolari's expectations and become the new best player in the world? Or will Messi still be the top dog for many years to come? Have your say in the comments box.

La Liga
Lionel Messi

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