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Desailly pegs Neymar for World Cup stardom

6:22 AM MYT 28/03/2018
Neymar Brazil World Cup 2018 home kit
The former France star sees the Brazilian having a summer to remember in Russia, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi also tipped for big things

Former France defender Marcel Desailly has tipped Brazil star Neymar for World Cup stardom while also pegging the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for a summer to remember in Russia.

Neymar will have a point to prove this summer after guiding Brazil to the World Cup semi-finals on home soil four years ago, only to miss the 7-1 defeat to Germany after suffering a back injury on a challenge from Camilo Zuniga late in a quarter-final win over Colombia.

The 26-year-old has only seen his profile increase over the past four years, with Neymar making a record-breaking €222 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this past summer.

And Neymar, who has 53 goals in 83 caps for Brazil, could be the player of the tournament, according to World Cup winner Desailly.

"I'd like Neymar to be the one, if he can recover well and play consecutive games," Desailly — speaking courtesy of Hublot — told Omnisport.

Desailly didn't stop at Neymar, though, with the former Chelsea man identifying some usual suspects as candidates for stardom in Russia.

"We know all the big names," Desailly said. We have two guys from another planet, with Portugal's Ronaldo and Argentina's Messi."

And Desailly, of course, didn't want to finish discussing the topic without giving a nod to his countryman Antoine Griezmann, who will look to return the World Cup title to France for the first time since Desailly helped Les Bleus to the crown in 1998.

"It's tricky to find anyone else emerging," he said. "We'd love to see Griezmann play really well."