Brazil legend Gerson says that Neymar would not even get on the bench for the Selecao side of 1970.
The team that won the World Cup in Mexico that year is regarded as one of the greatest of all time, and the 70-year-old says that there would be no room for Brazil’s current star, who is widely seen as one of the best players of the modern day.
"There wouldn't be a space for Neymar," Gerson said to Fox. "In whose place would he play? He can't take Rivellino's spot. Nor Pele's. Would he come in for Tostao? For Jairzinho? There wouldn't even be room in midfield for him."
So if Neymar could not get in the starting XI, surely he would make the bench? Not so, according to Gerson.
"We had Caju, an enormous talent," he explained. "As a No.10 and in midfield he played a lot. He was pure talent. He was brilliant wherever you put him -- and he was a substitute. So I don't even know if Neymar would have a place on the bench in that team."
Gerson’s Brazil are most fondly remembered for their 4-1 victory over Italy in the final of the World Cup, during which Carlos Alberto struck the final blow four minutes from time after one of the all-time great team moves.
Neymar’s only previous World Cup experience ended prematurely when he was injured in a quarter-final against Colombia – a prelude to the Selecao’s embarrassing 7-1 semi-final loss against Germany.