Brazil legend Romario is of the opinion that Santos star Neymar is almost at the same level as Barcelona ace Lionel Messi.
The 20-year-old has often earned comparisons with Messi since breaking into the Peixe first team in 2009, despite admitting on several occasions that he rates the Argentine higher than himself.
Romario has no doubt that Neymar is the most gifted Brazilian footballer right now, but insists that the three-time Ballon d'Or winner has the edge over his compatriot.
"Neymar is the best Brazilian player and he is not too far behind Messi, who has more experience, more titles and a certain advantage," Romario told L'Equipe.
"But if you make two identical teams with Messi on one side and Neymar on the other, the result would be the same."
The 46-year-old scored a disputed total of 1,002 goals during an undoubtedly brilliant career, but confessed that he could have gone even further if he had shown more commitment.
"I did not deserve all that I got," he noted. "I never acted professionally, I was never an athlete.
"I was a football player. I did not sleep properly, I did not eat like a sportsman, I was always late, I did not work hard in training sessions every day, but I still scored 1,002 goals.
"If I had not gone out so much, I would have scored 2,000 goals. But okay, 1,000 is good, right?"
The retired striker then revealed that his son, Romarinho, will leave Vasco da Gama in the summer to join Barcelona's B team.
"I hope that he will be able to play at this exceptional club," he concluded.