Chelsea playmaker Cesc Fabregas believes former teammate Neymar will succeed Lionel Messi as the world's best player when the Argentine eventually calls time on his career.
Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo have long been competing for football's top individual honours and it's likely the duo will carry on that trend for the foreseeable future, even despite the Brazilian's goalscoring exploits.
But Fabregas, who played with both Neymar and Messi during the 2013/14 season, is confident the former is destined for greatness once Barcelona's number ten steps aside.
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According to Goal.com, the 28-year-old said: “Adaptation always takes time but you could already see the natural talent, his love for football and his amazing skills. You could see that he would reach this level sooner than later."
When asked if he thought Neymar would be as good as Messi, the Spain international refrained from saying the 23-year-old could actually match the talent of the Argentine maestro.
"I think it will be difficult [for Neymar to reach Messi’s level], but when Leo retires from football in a few years, I think Neymar will be the one who reigns.”
The Brazil international has been in excellent form this season in the absence of Messi who, until recently, had been sidelined by a knee injury suffered against Las Palmas in September.
To date, Neymar has 16 goals in 17 appearances and alongside Suarez, who has 18 in 20, the pair have been simply scintillating.
By Neymar’s age, Messi had already won the Ballon d’Or and experts believe it is only the presence of the Argentina international and Ronaldo that prevents the brilliance of Neymar from being rewarded.
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