Pele: Neymar not on par with Messi, Ronaldo

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Neymar’s rise for both club and country has been heavily documented, however, Brazilian legend Pele believes that the Selecao star still has a ways to go to be considered the world’s best player.

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The 24-year-old Barcelona attacker is coming off of a superb season with the La Liga champions, where he scored 31 goals across all competitions for the Blaugrana.

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While Neymar has certainly proven that he deserves to be in the discussion as the top player in football, Pele still believes he trails two others playing in Spain.

Pele recently spoke with Spanish outlet Marca:

“I’ve known Neymar since he was little and many years ago his coaches told me he was very good,” Pele said of the forward. “That is so but he doesn’t have the quality of Ronaldo or Messi.

“If I had to say who the number one player is today, I would say Lionel. The Portuguese has a different style of play but the best is Messi, in my opinion.”

Neymar finished third in the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or voting behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, each of whom are also coming off of fantastic seasons with their club sides.

The youngster won’t be participating in Brazil’s Copa America run, which began with a 0-0 draw against Ecuador on Saturday. Neymar will be available for the Selecao‘s appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro come August. He’ll be tasked with trying to avenge the team’s final loss in the tournament four years ago against CONCACAF nation Mexico.

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