Jorge Valdano has hailed Barcelona forward Neymar as the future, predicting a Ballon d’Or win in three years’ time for the Brazil captain.
Marca quotes Valdano in Mexico’s Record publication as predicting Neymar, who was third in this year’s Ballon d’Or running, will claim the prize in the near future.
“Neymar will win the Ballon d’Or in three years,” former Real Madrid forward Valdano said.
“He’s becoming more and more dominant. The first year [at Barca] he was there to serve Lionel Messi. In the second he became a partner and now he’s allowed all the liberties he wants because he feels he’s a star.
“He projects the image of a happy guy who is in a prolonged state of bliss on the field. His football is fun and unprejudiced.
“It’s artistic, because he can join his superior technique with a playful imagination. It’s original, beautiful and effective.
“He’s part of a style that doesn’t lack courage. Sometimes there are a few vices that critics consider provocative.
“If Messi refers back to a player of a classical style, and Cristiano Ronaldo is the player of the future with his physical exuberance and robotic style, after that comes Neymar, the pop footballer.”