Brazil football legend Pele claims that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in a higher level and better quality than fellow countryman Neymar.
The 24-year-old has been regularly tipped as the heir to the Ballon D’Or title currently held by Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and he is the face of modern Brazilian football.
Pele, who is regarded as his country’s greatest player of all time insisted that the former Santos star is not in the same level as Messi and Ronldo.
“I’ve known Neymar since he was little and many years ago his coaches told me he was very good,” Pele told Marca.
“That is so but he doesn’t have the quality of Ronaldo or Messi.
“If I had to say who the number one player is today, I would say Lionel. The Portuguese has a different style of play but the best is Messi, in my opinion.”
Asked about Neymar and whether he overplays the game at times, Pele added: “Not everyone does this – Zico didn’t and nor did Pele – so it’s not common to everyone.
“Each one has his own style. But you have to always respect your opponent, like Romario did for example.”
Neymar scored 31 goals in all competitions last season and finished third behind Messi and Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or voting after helping Barca to the treble in 2014-15.