Brazilian legend Cafu has spoken highly about countryman Neymar, saying he could be one of the world’s best in due time but that he needs to stay in Barcelona to achieve that. The ex-AC Milan man also talked about the importance of the Rio Olympics to Brazil, given they have never won the medal.
Speaking to Laureus.com in an exclusive interview, Cafu said: “Neymar’s moment will happen, it didn't happen this time, but the next time, for sure, Neymar will increase his advantage over the others,” speaking about Neymar missing out on the Ballon d’Or award. But Cafu is confident that Neymar will be the best in the world in due time. “Each player becomes the best in the world in their own time. He is very important for world football today, the way football should be played, content and happy. He could become one of the world’s best football idols.
“I hope that he can continue at Barcelona. Barcelona is a team that supports him, it’s a team that provides him with structure to help him continue to shine,” continued the former Barcelona captain.
With Brazil hosting the Olympics later this year, Neymar will be a key element for Brazil to win a medal. “He is the most important player in the Brazilian team. I think he should play. If he does, we will be able to win an Olympic medal. We have never won an Olympic Games and for that reason it will be important for us. Independent of whether we won or lost the 2014 World Cup, the Olympics will be important for us to create more credibility.”
Meanwhile Neymar’s club FC Barcelona are nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, and Cafu thinks the Spanish giants will be strong contenders. “Barcelona are playing really well, playing fantastic football, playing elegant football, they deserve to win.”
Neymar’s teammate from Barcelona Lionel Messi has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award along with compatriots from other sports including Usain Bolt, Stephen Curry, Novak Djokovic, Lewis Hamilton and Jordan Spieth. The winner will be revealed in Berlin on April 18.