Brazil coach Dunga believes his captain Neymar is the best player in the world at the moment.
Neymar has played a starring role at Barcelona over recent weeks in the ongoing injury absence of Lionel Messi.
The 23-year-old has scored 10 goals in his last seven games for Barca, and crowned last Sunday’s 3-0 win over Villarreal by completing a brace with a stunning individual strike.
Dunga hopes Neymar can recreate this form on his return from international suspension when Brazil take on bitter rivals Argentina in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier
And, with Messi sidelined and the Argentine superstar’s long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo short of his best form at Real Madrid, the coach feels his main man is leading the way.
“On the numbers and statistics, Neymar is superior right now,” he told a pre-match media conference.
“Messi was injured recently, Cristiano Ronaldo has to repeat what he did last year, and Neymar has been constantly growing since he went to Barcelona [in 2013].
“He has responded as expected to the absence of Messi at Barcelona and is in a good moment.”
Argentina head into their third qualification match in Buenos Aires without a victory to their name and missing key forwards Messi, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez through injury.
Nevertheless, Dunga – whose side took three points from their opening two qualifiers – is taking nothing for granted ahead of one of the world’s most fiercely competitive matches.
“It’s a derby – there is no favourite,” he added.
“In theory we are in a good moment, growing and they are struggling. But it’s a derby and anything can happen.
“You lose a talented player but you get one that is maybe more focused, with more power and speed, and they can create problems.
“It’s Argentina – their players all play at the highest level in Europe.”
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