Sylvinho: Barcelona will be world's best team even if Santos win 3-0

The former Barca full back was in no doubt that his ex-club is the best around, while also stating that neither Neymar nor Cristiano Ronaldo are on the same level as Lionel Messi
Former Barcelona star Sylvinho is convinced that the Catalans are the best side in the world, regardless of how they do in Sunday's Club World Cup final against Santos.

Josep Guardiola's men confirmed a meeting against the Brazilians with a 4-0 win over Al Sadd in Thursday's semi-final, as they look to regain the title that they lifted in 2009 with victory over Estudiantes.

Sylvinho, however, who represented Barcelona between 2004 and 2009 and won two Champions Leagues with the club, insisted that not even a convincing victory for his Brazilian compatriots could remove the tag of world's best from the Blaugrana.

"I believe that the best team is Barcelona, even if Santos win 3-0. The Peixe could manage one or two chances on goal if they defend well and mark the spaces," SporTV heard from the former full-back as he remained pessimistic about Santos' chances.

"Neymar has the ability to open the game up, as does Borges. [Santos coach] Muricy [Ramalho] will put out a team he thinks is best to create chances, but controlling possession is impossible due to the excessive trust and confidence the Barca players have in each other."

Asked about the talent of Neymar, Sylvinho affirmed that for him Lionel Messi was untouchable as the world's best player; but that the 19-year-old could soon be considered equal to Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Neymar is getting close to Cristiano Ronaldo's level, which is one step down from Messi. We have to respect this player and his story," he concluded.

Barcelona and Santos will meet on Sunday in Yokohama, at 11.30 CET.