Former Uruguay striker Diego Forlan has said Brazil star Neymar can be as good as leading fooballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, adding he will eventually become the best player in the world.
The Brazilian won the three major trophies with FC Barcelona this season but suffered a setback at international level after he was red carded during the country’s Copa America group stage clash with Colombia.
He was subsequently handed a four-match ban, ruling him out of the rest of the tournament, but Forlan believes he remains on track to reach the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Brazil were knocked out of Copa America by Paraguay on Saturday.
“Neymar is one of the best strikers in the world, playing in football’s best club team. I could continue to compliment him because Neymar has lived up to the hype. Other Brazilians who’ve gone to Europe haven’t always settled so quickly. Neymar has,” Forlan was quoted as saying by goal.com on Saturday.
“He knows he’s playing alongside the best in the world. He looks at Messi as someone he can learn from. Neymar is still a level below Messi and Ronaldo and those two are likely to remain the world’s best for a few more years, but he’s also nearly five years younger than Messi and seven younger than Ronaldo.”
“He’s going to get better and I suspect he’ll be the best in the world in a few years.”
However, Forlan advised the 23-year-old to retain his discipline in light of events at Copa America.
“Neymar lost the temper which has brought him success to match his talent after the Colombia game. That’s one of the small areas in which he can improve if he wants to be Brazil’s first Ballon d’Or winner since Kaka eight years ago,” Forlan concluded.