Ronaldinho, former Barcelona and Brazil star, praised Neymar’s evolution as a player since moving to Europe. Ronaldinho believes his countryman is now on the same playing level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It has been an up and down season for the 25 year old Neymar. The striker scored eight times in La Liga, a slightly lower tally than in the previous two seasons. However, the Brazilian was instrumental in securing the shocking 6-1 win over PSG which saw Barcelona qualify for the Quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Neymar managed to score twice against PSG. His contribution was felt in setting up his team-mates in front of goal. Against PSG he broke the record for most goal assists in a single season of the Champions League. Neymar set up Sergi Roberto for a dramatic late winner and secured his eighth assist of the season.
Former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho talked about Neymar’s recent performances and the friendship that links the two. “Neymar is a close friend and he is Brazil’s greatest idol today,” he told Gulf News in Dubai.
“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.”
Neymar has already secured plenty of personal achievements, as well as being central to his team’s success. Since joining Barcelona, the team has won LaLiga twice and the Champions League once. Barca are in the running for the treble in the current season.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 15, 2017
Ronaldinho is oneo f Barcelona’s most high profile players in the recent era. The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year was part of a team that won La Liga twice and the Champions League in 2006. Ronaldinho was also capped 97 times for Brazil and helped them win the 2002 World Cup. However, he is not keen on making comparisons between himself and the current Brazilian international.
“I never like comparisons, we were a great team with great players and individuals, and today’s side also has a great team with great players and individuals,” Ronaldinho said.
“I was successful, my team was successful and we won a lot of trophies and today’s Barca side are the same, they are also very successful, so I want to wish the best to them. I don’t like comparisons, I just know we should continue.”