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‘Even Messi sits behind Neymar on technical ability’ – Cafu lauds PSG’s Brazilian superstar

12:58 PM GMT+4 27/03/2020
Lionel Messi Neymar GFX
The World Cup winner has hailed the skill set of a fellow countryman and admits expectation is being piled onto the 28-year-old’s shoulders

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is the most technically-gifted player on the planet, says Cafu, with even Barcelona icon Lionel Messi sitting behind the Brazilian when it comes to ability on the ball.

An exciting South American talent has built his reputation on being one of the most creative performers in the global game.

For Neymar, football is a form of entertainment and he rarely passes up an opportunity to break out his box of tricks.

The same can be said for many other elite players, including six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, but Cafu believes his fellow countryman takes the art of ball manipulation to a whole different level.

The legendary World Cup winner told Fox Sports: “Technically, Neymar is the best player in the world.

“Today, technically, nobody can beat Neymar. Not even Messi, although I am a fan of him. But he does not surpass him in terms of technical quality.”

While Neymar’s individual excellence remains without question, Cafu admits that he needs to work on his leadership.

A man who captained Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002 added: “Today I don't see any leader within the Brazilian team.

“Today I don't see anyone who says this to Neymar: ‘Oh, don’t do this’ or ‘Do this’. There is not!

“They gave him that responsibility, and it's not his profile. It’s not that he doesn't want to, but because it's not his profile.

“Have you ever seen him catching Thiago Silva and Tite in a discussion and solving the situation? No, because it is not his profile.”

While Neymar is not the kind to bark out orders to those around him, he is capable of providing inspiration through his actions on the field.

For Brazil, a nation starved of football’s biggest prize for what they consider to be far too long, the 28-year-old remains the man to carry the expectations of an entire country.

Cafu added: “I speak again here, he is our greatest hope for winning a World Cup.

“With Neymar on the pitch, whether he wants it or not, eight opponents will stay connected to him.

“He is a reference, he makes room for others, he scores extraordinary goals, but, really, someone is missing who covers, someone is lacking the strength to fit in around him.”