A man who once coached Ronaldinho at Parc des Princes considers the current South American superstar to be one of the very best on the planet
Neymar is a player of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s “calibre”, claims former Paris Saint-Germain player and manager Luis Fernandez, with the Brazilian considered to be “at the level of the Ballon d’Or”.
The modern day superstar has finished third in the Golden Ball vote on two previous occasions, with his quality being recognised by peers around the world.
With Messi and Ronaldo now well into their 30s and approaching the end of their remarkable careers, Neymar is being tipped to land the prestigious individual prize at some stage in the near future.
European Cup winner Fernandez, who once worked with Ronaldinho at Parc des Princes, told footballworld5 of a man currently chasing down collective honours in PSG’s first Champions League final appearance: “Neymar is at the level of the Ballon d’Or. His attitude is remarkable.
“I’ve always loved Neymar, and I already loved him when he was at Barca with Messi and [Luis] Suarez. I had the opportunity to appreciate his coordination, his body language, his ease and his technique.
“I had Ronaldinho as a player for PSG. The first year, he was exceptional in training and in matches. The second year, he wanted to do something else, but you fall under the spell of this kind of player. Sometimes we want to copy them, but we can’t.
“What Neymar does technically is exceptional. We saw Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar is of this calibre.”
PSG are hoping to see Neymar deliver on the biggest stage of all when they face Bayern Munich in Lisbon on Sunday. He has Champions League final goals and wins on his CV, from his days at Barca, and Fernandez is expecting Thomas Tuchel’s biggest guns to fire when he needs them most.
“Neymar and Mbappe didn’t score against Atalanta and Leipzig, but they scare the opponents,” added Fernandez. “If they are scary, it is because everything is in place to ensure that these two players are in the best position to express themselves.
“Tuchel found the ideal support to make his team exist: Neymar! His relationship with Neymar is excellent.
“Neymar really appreciates Tuchel, who has put him in the best shape. The results prove it.”