Neymar can become as good as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and battle with the pair for the Ballon d’Or, believes Brazil coach Tite.
The former Barcelona forward has been named in Brazil’s squad to face Ecuador and Colombia, even though they have already sealed World Cup qualification, with Neymar’s new Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos also included.
A desire to step out of Messi’s shadow has been widely cited as one of Neymar’s primary reasons to make his world-record move from Camp Nou to PSG for €222million.
And Tite has backed Brazil’s star player to develop into a regular contender for the Ballon d’Or, an honour he is yet to win having been third behind Ronaldo and winner Messi in 2015.
— CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) August 10, 2017
“There are three players fighting for that position: Cristiano, Messi and Neymar,” said Tite.
“Cristiano and Messi are from a different generation – and Neymar will get there. That will depend on his performances, not on whether he plays with Messi.
“The essence is that he likes to play football. The important thing is that he is well and adapted in his new club. Values and money do not change anything. He went to another club, as he said, to seek new perspectives.”
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) August 6, 2017
PSG’s typical formation is similar to what Neymar is used to at Barcelona and this will help the 25-year-old to settle in at his new club, added the national team coach.
“The tactical formation used by Paris is very similar to that of Barcelona, it’s 4-3-3,” Tite said. “PSG use two forwards with a pivot, so it has the same design.
“It only changes the characteristics of the players who will play next to Neymar.”
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