'Dinho: Neymar Will Trump Messi
04 February 2013
Ronaldinho may be nearing the end of his sometimes scintillating career for club and country, but when the bucktoothed superstar finally hangs his boots up, he will never be forgotten.
‘Dinho is one of modern football’s great entertainers, and no matter what team you support, it’s impossible not laugh and cheer when he is in full flight.
The 32-year-old’s gradual decline from the heights he hit with Barcelona from 2003 to 2008 has coincided with Brazil’s slide down the rankings.
In that time, a succession of Selecao coaches have struggled to find the spark to light their line-ups with.
However, ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil has a new superstar in Santos phenomenon, Neymar.
Neymar is the first Brazil player since ‘Dinho himself to truly set the football world’s pulse racing.
And speaking to the Daily Mail ahead of Brazil’s showdown with England on Wednesday, Ronaldinho predicted Neymar would soon be the best player in the world.
"[Lionel] Messi for the last three or four years has been the best player in the world - he has been at a level of consistency I don't think the world has seen before," Ronaldinho said.
"Neymar is young, though, and I can't explain how special he will become.
“In the next two or three seasons he will become the best player."
‘Dinho may see a big future for his young spiky-haired compatriot. But for now, he is still in thrall to his “good friend” Messi.
Asked if never playing in the English Premier League is one of his biggest regrets in football, Ronaldinho said: "No, because I have played for some of the biggest teams in the world and won everything. The only regret is not playing more seasons with Lionel Messi.
"He is my good friend. I could see even at a young age he was going to be the best. It was exciting to see this kid who could do things most players can only dream of."
Do you agree with 'Dinho that Neymar can trump Messi?