Maradona: Neymar too young to dominate World Cup

The 22-year-old was the star of the Confederations Cup last summer but the Argentina icon believes he will struggle to make the same impact on the biggest stage of them all

Diego Maradona says Brazil star Neymar is "too young" to dominate a World Cup on his own, but has applauded his boundless potential.

The 22-year-old won the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2013 Confederations Cup after inspiring the Selecao to a 3-0 victory over Spain in the final.

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Twelve months on and Neymar will again be expected to shoulder Brazil's attacking burden and lead them to a sixth World Cup success.

But, with just one season under his belt in Europe following his move to Barcelona last summer, Maradona believes the tournament has come too soon for the former Santos starlet to make such a big impact. 

"Neymar is an exciting youngster with exceptional talent," the Argentina great told the Times of India.

"What he did for Brazil in the Confederations Cup was extraordinary. But he is too young to light up a World Cup on his own.

Brazil will definitely root for him, though, especially after he has shown what he is capable of."

Maradona took charge of Argentina at the 2006 World Cup and, after assessing the quality of the current Albiceleste squad, thinks his country are well set to challenge in Brazil.

"Alejandro Sabella has been in charge of Argentina for almost three years and has developed a core group where [Lionel] Messi is the indisputable leader," he continued.

"Mascherano has no problems in supporting him since they play for the same club. And I was happy to see Angel Di Maria supporting [Lionel] Messi when Barcelona fans found fault with their prized possession.

"It reflects a healthy relationship between them, although they are fierce rivals in club football. And I won't be surprised if Sergio Aguero gets going."