Former captain of the Brazilian national team Cafu has explained that Neymar's technical ability puts him miles ahead of everyone and not even Lionel Messi comes close. The ex-AC Milan full-back made the admission while raving over his compatriot's acumen and skill set, further affirming that the Paris Saint-Germain star could be his country's hope for another world title.
Since emerging from Santos, Neymar has been hailed has one of the best players of this generation and with each passing season, the Brazil delivers performances worthy of the status. This season, the 28-year-old has once again led PSG's charge to the Ligue 1 title and a first UEFA Champions League trophy, scoring 18 goals in 22 appearances across all competitions.
To Cafu, Neymar's goalscoring proficiency only adds up to his technical gift which, he believes, sets him apart from the pack. In an interview with Fox Sports, the legendary World Cup winner insisted that his countryman is currently the best in the world ahead of Lionel Messi - the current Ballon d'Or holder and Neymar's teammate at Barcelona between 2013 and 2017.
"Technically, Neymar is the best player in the world," Cafu professed.
"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."
On the contrary, Cafu insisted that the Paris Saint-Germain forward lacked in terms of leadership but still remains Brazil's biggest hope of ending more an almost two-decade wait for a World Cup trophy. The former lifted the cup at Japan/Korea in 2002 after his Selecao side which featured the likes of Ronaldo Nazario, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo beat Germany in the final.
"Today I don't see any leader within the Brazilian team," he continued.
"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. "I speak again here, he is our greatest hope for winning a World Cup," Cafu added.
"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."