Scolari believes Neymar can take Brazil to their sixth World Cup title
Brazil’s new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes Neymar is not too young to shoulder more responsibility. The former Chelsea manager reckons Neymar can lead Brazil’s campaign to win a sixth World Cup.
The 20-year-old Santos forward is seen as a rookie even though he has established himself as one of the best young talents in the football community. Luiz Felipe Scolari is ready to put his faith in the youngster as Brazil prepare for the 2014 World Cup which be held on their turf.
In an interview to FIFA.com, Luiz Felipe Scolari explained that Pele was just a teenager when he helped Brazil to the 1958 World Cup. Luiz Felipe Scolari pointed out that Ronaldo also had a similar job in the Brazilian team.
“No, because Ronaldo used to be one of the leading figures in A Seleção, and he shone for Brazil when he was only 19 or 20,” Luiz Felipe Scolari said. “Pele too was only 17, and though he wasn't a big name at the time he became one during that World Cup.
“At the end of the day, it's not a problem. Of course you need to have a lot of character and be very level-headed. What's more, the young lad could be an icon in technical terms, but that doesn't mean he has to be a leader within the squad too.
“That's where it's important for there to be a good level of understanding between the coaching staff and the players so everybody knows where they stand. But I don't see anything wrong with the fact that a 20- or 21-year-old player is our biggest star.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari also backed Neymar to enter the upper echelons of football by challenging Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Luiz Felipe Scolari believes Neymar doesn’t need to leave Santos to prove that he is better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I think that, from next year, Neymar won't be in the top ten [for the FIFA Ballon d'Or] - he'll be in the top three. That's where he'll probably be,” Luiz Felipe Scolari continued.
“Neymar doesn't need to go to Europe to be chosen as the world's best player, because the coach he has at Santos now [Muricy Ramalho] has been working with him for over a year. And, during that period, we've seen how Neymar has changed in terms of his attitude and his positioning out on the pitch.
“Muricy has helped and continues to really help Neymar to grow in tactical terms. I don't believe that he needs to go to Europe to evolve as a player. Anyone who knows Neymar knows that he's been coming on leaps and bounds in the last two or three years and that he's probably going to come on a lot further too.”