Brazil's 2014 World Cup aspirations are reliant on the form and fitness of Neymar, according to former Selecao striker Romario.
The 1994 World Cup winner claims his country has no chance of being crowned world champion on home soil without the 21-year-old Barcelona forward.
"Neymar is our best player," Romario told Sport.
"He is now playing in one of the most competitive leagues in the world; he is my hope and Brazil's hope."
Neymar was instrumental in Brazil's Confederations Cup win, scoring the second goal in a 3-0 victory over Spain in the final, and that performance coupled with many other impressive displays ensured he was crowned player of the tournament.
Romario also admitted he was wrong to criticize the reappointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari as national team coach.
The 47-year-old was publicly outspoken on Scolari taking the reins from Mano Menezes but now says he has refined his initial opinion.
He added: "I was one of the greatest critics before the Confederations, but even I would say he turned us into champions."