Neymar “will never be like Pele”, says former Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward is closing on the levels of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 26-year-old is once again shouldering the expectations of a nation at Russia 2018, with the Selecao’s star man considered to have unfinished business with the World Cup.
He saw his tournament on home soil in 2014 ended by injury and is desperate to make amends four years later, despite still feeling his way back to top form after returning from an unfortunate foot injury.
Neymar has been among the goals on a global stage, edging him to within 20 efforts of Pele’s haul of 77 on Brazil’s all-time chart, but Scolari doubts that the PSG ace will ever scale the heights managed by a three-time World Cup winner.
He told El Mundo: “In Brazil, we know who is Neymar and who is Pele.
“We know that there is only one Pele and there will never be another.
“A player can be very good, spectacular even, but they will never be like Pele because he has no heir. Nobody will ever equal him.”