Luiz Felipe Scolari has expressed his belief that Neymar has already proven himself to be on a par with the world’s best players.
The 21-year-old made the move from Santos to Barcelona this summer and has began to find his feet in La Liga, netting four times in 11 appearances for the Blaugrana since his arrival.
His record at international level is more impressive, with the forward having netted 27 times in 44 appearances for Selecao, and it is his performances for Scolari’s side that have led to his coach singing his praises.
Jose Mourinho recently described the Barcelona star as "sad" for his role in Scott Brown's sending off in the recent Champions League game with Celtic, prompting the former Chelsea boss to defend his forward.
“Maybe he [Mourinho] knows that Neymar is now at the same level as Cristiano and Messi and can really hurt his team," Scolari told The Guardian.
Neymar and his teammates showcased their talents at the weekend, sweeping aside Honduras 5-0 as they continued their preparations for the World Cup as host nation next summer.
Scolari knows that there is a certain pressure that comes with the finals being played on home soil, but the 65-year-old is confident his side can deliver in its own back yard.
“The players know they will have to win the World Cup,” the former Chelsea boss continued. “If we are not good enough we will lose but if we work hard, as we have been doing in the last months, I can see us challenging for the title.”
Brazil’s national coach is aware that there a number of teams capable of gate crashing the carnival in 2014, and that, while there is one obvious challenger to the title, a few are capable of causing a stir in South America.
“As the current European and world champions, Spain have to be considered the best in the world," he said. “I am also impressed by Germany and Argentina. It’s an open field for the World Cup.”
Brazil has already shown the team is capable of beating the best there is, highlighted by its dominance in this year’s Confederations Cup and the dismantling of Vicente del Bosque’s Spain in the final.
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