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Rivaldo: Messi still ahead of Neymar

Lionel Messi remains ahead of Neymar as the best player at Barcelona, according to former Brazil star Rivaldo.

Neymar has claimed two LaLiga and Copa del Rey doubles, as well as the Champions League, since completing his controversial move from Santos to Camp Nou in 2013.

Rivaldo, twice a league champion with Barca and a a key part of Brazil’s World Cup triumph in 2002, recently backed his compatriot to become the world’s leading player if he continues to develop under Luis Enrique.

But the 1999 World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or winner concedes that Argentina star Messi is still his old club’s leading light.

“As a Brazilian, I’ve really enjoyed the progress Neymar has made for the last two years,” he told L’Equipe.

“But for all that he has achieved over the past decade, the excellent season that he was still able to have, but also his immense talent, Lionel Messi is still, for me, the star and the best player at Barca.”

Neymar has captained Brazil to the semi-finals at Rio 2016 and scored in the 2-0 lst-eight win over Colombia to help set up Wednesday’s clash with Honduras.

Rivaldo, who won a bronze medal at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, says the host nation have an excellent chance of claiming a first gold this year.

“I think this time, with the quality of the current team, the presence of players with great experience at top European clubs – including Neymar – we’ve obviously got a real opportunity to get to the top of the podium,” he said.

Tue 16 Aug, 2016
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