Zico: Lucas could be more important than Neymar

The former Udinese player thinks that while Neymar is better Lucas is more important to the national team, and adds that Messi is not as good as Maradona

Former Brazil international Zico believes Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas could be more crucial to the national team than Santos striker Neymar.

Lucas moved to the French league leaders in January while Neymar has remained in Brazil despite links to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

"Neymar is ahead, but I like Lucas a lot, and I think he can grow a lot playing in Europe," he told Brazilian TV show Bem, Amigos.

"He's a very objective player, who aims for the goal at all times but who plays for the team. I think he could be even more important for Brazil in the next World Cup than Neymar."

Zico also commented on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and discussed where they stand among the all-time greats of football.

"Messi is on a whole different level. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two players that, the way I see it, can have a spot amongst the best of all time."

He added that while Messi is good he has some way to go before being considered better than Maradona.

"Is he better than Maradona? I don't think so. Everything Maradona did, he did with a guy hanging on his neck during 90 minutes.

"Considering Messi's quality and everything he represents, I don't think I've seen him playing with a guy following him around the pitch the entire time with the sole purpose of not letting him play.

"The ones next to him are very good, but they're used to knowing he's going to get things done eventually. 80% of all Barcelona goals, Messi either scores himself or participates somehow.

"So, let's mark that guy to see how the others will react with Messi not being able to play as he'd like. And Maradona had to deal with that every match, Pelé also. I used to be marked like that as well."