RIO DE JANEIRO – Barcelona forward Neymar has been the best player in the
world so far in 2017, according to Brazil national coach Tite, China’s
Xinhua news agency reported.
But it is too early to say whether the 25-year-old will surpass Lionel
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when votes are cast for the year’s top individual
honors, the former Corinthians boss said.
“Neymar is in the best form of his career, but to compare him with
Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi isn’t fair,” Tite told Radio Bandeirantes on Friday.
“They are different generations. In the past 10 years he isn’t (the world’s
best). In my opinion the best in the world has been Messi. But in the past four
months the best in the world has been Neymar,” Tite added.
After a quiet start to the 2016-17 season, Neymar has been in sublime form
for both club and country since the turn of the year.
The high point was his performance in the UEFA Champions League round of 16
last month, when the Brazilian almost single-handedly gave Barcelona a 6-5
aggregate victory with two goals and assist in the last five minutes of the
second leg at the Camp Nou.
Neymar also scored in Brazil’s victories over Uruguay and Paraguay last
month as the Selecao became the first team to qualify for next year’s World Cup.