Felipe Scolari says it is not a problem that Santos sensation Neymar is Brazil’s biggest star at the tender age of 20.
The forward has developed into one of Brazil’s key men since making his debut in August 2010, but his experience of elite football has come into question following his decision to remain with Santos ahead of the World Cup on home soil.
Scolari, who took over from Mano Menezes as Brazil coach last week, believes the livewire forward is ready to perform on the big stage.
“I don’t see anything wrong with the fact that Neymar is our biggest star at the age of 20. Ronaldo used to be one of the leading figures in (the team), and he shone for Brazil when he was only 19 or 20,” Scolari was quoted as saying on the Fifa website.
“Pele too was only 17, and though he wasn’t a big name at the time he became one during that World Cup (in 1958).
“At the end of the day, it’s not a problem. Of course you need to have a lot of character and be very level-headed.
“What’s more, the young lad could be an icon in technical terms, but that doesn’t mean he has to be a leader within the squad too.”
Neymar has made 27 international appearances for Brazil to date.