According to former Brazil World Cup winning coach Luis Felipe Scolari, Brazil star Neymar will never be good enough to match the standards set by the legendary Pele.
After netting the first goal against Mexico in Brazil’s 2-0 win, Neymar is now third in the list of Brazil’s all-time leading international scorers, behind Pele and Ronaldo.
While Neymar is now only 20 goals behind Pele, his World Cup achievements dwarfs in comparison to Pele’s. Pele was only 17 when he won his first World Cup in Sweden in 1958. Neymar at 26 has not reached the heights of the former Selecao star.
Neymar was injured in the 2014 World Cup semifinal, when a Scolari-led Brazil lost 7-1 at home turf against Germany. Scolari would also resign from his role as Brazil coach in 2014. For the former Selecao coach, there is only one Pele and he is incomparable.
"In Brazil we know who Neymar is and who is Pele,” he said during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
"We know that there is only one Pele and there will never be another.”
A player can be very good, spectacular even, but they will never be like Pele because he has no heir. Nobody will ever equal him."
Scolari felt that Neymar’s development slowed down because he was not seeing the kind of competition that had seen while playing for Barcelona.
Asked by El Mundo if Neymar was now as good as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Scolari said: "At Barcelona he evolved a lot and he almost reached their level.
“But it is not something that happens from one day to the next. He is on the right road but he still needs time. Perhaps in one year or two he will be at their level."