Neymar is ready to assume the mantle of being the best player in the world, according to former Barcelona full-back Juliano Belletti.
Brazil captain Neymar is one shy of bringing up his 100th Barca goal and continues to be viewed as a supreme part of a forward collective alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Messi and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo have engaged in a two-way fight for the Ballon d’Or for most of the past decade but Belletti, who scored the winning goal in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal, believes his countryman is improving all the time.
“Neymar can be the best player in the world soon,” he said, speaking at the launch of the 2017 International Champions Cup in New York.
“He knows about the pressure, he has more experience on the pitch and he is in the best team in the world.
“He’s a Brazilian, of course, which is good, but Barcelona have something Brazilian in the kind of match [they play].
“So it is good for Neymar. We will see a better Neymar in all of the [coming] years.”
Neymar stepped up with two late goals and a superb all-round display as Barcelona sensationally overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit in their 6-1 Champions League last-16 win over Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou.
Belletti feels the confidence gained from such an incredible victory could propel Luis Enrique’s team to a second European title in the past three seasons.
“I think it is about confidence now,” he added, with Serie A giants Juventus awaiting Barca in the quarter-finals and eyeing revenge for their 2015 final defeat.
“After that victory against Paris Saint-Germain the players have more confidence to fight for the title.”