Neymar at level of Lionel Messi; worthy of Ballon d’Or – Ronaldinho

Neymar at level of Lionel Messi; worthy of Ballon d’Or – Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho believes Barcelona forward Neymar has now reached the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Neymar was instrumental in Barca’s 6-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, scoring two goals and creating another in a remarkable seven-minute spell at the end of the game.

The Brazilian international came third in the Ballon d’Or in 2015 and many took his performance against PSG as a definitive sign that he’s well on the way to one day winning the coveted prize.

“Neymar is a close friend and he is Brazil’s greatest idol today,” Ronaldinho said at a news conference in Dubai on Wednesday to discuss the expansion of his football academy across the region.

“He’s already at the same level as Ronaldo and Messi and we truly hope that one day he can get the Ballon d’Or and continue his success, but he’s already amongst the top and it’s just a matter of time.”

Ronaldinho previously told ESPN FC in January that Neymar “will be the best in the world” one day.

With Luis Enrique’s announcement that he will leave Barca when his contract expires in the summer, Neymar will be working under his third manager at the Catalan club next season following his arrival in 2013.

Asked if he fancied filling Luis Enrique’s shoes, Ronaldinho laughed off the idea of taking to management any time soon, responding: “No, no, not for me man!”

However, he will be back in Blaugrana colours on April 28 when a team of Barca legends take on their Real Madrid counterparts in an exhibition game in Lebanon. 

“I’m not playing professionally right now, but I’m always ready to play — especially in a game like that,” he said of the friendly.

“So, I’m continuing my old training regime and let’s just wait and see, but I’m ready to play.”

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