Ronaldinho tips Neymar to become world's best player

The 32-year-old is backing his Brazilian compatriot to eventually succeed Argentine striker Lionel Messi, while he also denies regretting never having played in the Premier League
Brazil legend Ronaldinho has tipped Neymar to surpass his former club teammate Lionel Messi as the world's best player in the coming years.

The Santos striker, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is understood to be the most sought-after talent in the game, and Ronaldinho has backed the starlet to emulate Messi in the near future.

"Messi for the last three or four years has been the best player in the world - he has been at a level of consistency I don't think the world has seen before," Ronaldinho said to The Daily Mail ahead of Brazil's friendly with England. “Neymar is young though, and I can't explain how special he will become. In the next two or three seasons he will become the best player."

The 32-year-old Ronaldihno also denied regretting a move to England, but he expressed sorrow having not played with former Barca teammate Messi for longer. The two were at Barcelona together from 2004-2008, Messi's first years with the Spanish power's first team.

"Do I regret not playing in England? No, because I have played for some of the biggest teams in the world and won everything," Ronaldinho said. “The only regret is not playing more seasons with Lionel Messi. He is my good friend.

“I could see even at a young age he was going to be the best. It was exciting to see this kid who could do things most players can only dream of.”

Follow GOAL.COM on