Ronaldo believes Neymar can be Messi's heir

Ronaldo at the 2002 World Cup
Ronaldo at the 2002 World Cup

Former Brazil and Real Madrid forward Ronaldo has stated that Neymar would be the “heir” to Lionel Messi at Barcelona. The 1994 and 2002 World Cup winner also stated that he saw a bit of him in the young Barcelona forward.

The 24-year-old Neymar had joined Barcelona in a high-profile deal from Brazilian club Santos in 2013. Neymar did struggle during his first season at the Catalan club but has since become an integral part of the team.

The current Brazil captain helped Barcelona to a treble of the La Liga, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League last season. His partnership with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is also one of the most feared attacks in the history of the game.

"I like Neymar a lot. He is a bit like me," Ronaldo told Calciomercato on Friday.

"He had some difficulties in getting used to his new environment at first, but I knew that he was going to succeed. Lionel Messi and Neymar finished first and third in the Ballon d'Or voting.

"Can he be Messi's heir? Yes, he has everything he needs to become as strong as him."

Madrid could win the Champions League

The Brazilian legend also spoke about his close friend Zinedine Zidane who took over the job at Real Madrid after Rafa Benitez was sacked earlier in the season. Zidane has done a stellar job at Madrid having won six out of his first seven games in charge and even saw the Madrid side defeat AS Roma in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie.

"Everybody knows that Zizou is a great friend. I really hope that he will have a great career as a coach too," Ronaldo said. "He's the best player with whom I have ever played with. We had a lot of fun on the pitch.

"Could this be Real Madrid's year? Yes, they must focus on the Champions League, they have everything to succeed. Winning at Roma was very important for Zidane."

Ronaldo had won La Liga with Real but never lifted the Champions League in his illustrious career.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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