Neymar as good as Zico: Santos coach

12 December 2011 08:17

Neymar is up there with some of the greatest footballers ever including Zico, Rivelino and Zinedine Zidane, Santos coach Muricy Ramalho says, branding the forward's talent "absurd".

The prodigious 19-year-old, who is coveted by many of Europe's top sides, on Friday said at the Club World Cup that he would never be as good as Pele and insisted that Lionel Messi was currently the best in the world.

The intercontinental showpiece could see Neymar and Messi face each other in the final, leading to more comparisons between the pair.

Asked if his man was up there with the likes of fellow Brazilians Zico and Rivelino, and the French master Zidane, Ramalho said: "Yes. Neymar is certainly on this level.

"And Im someone who urges caution with regards to calling players great. In Brazil, a player has one good game and they say hes great," he told

"A great is a genius who sees the play before the others do. And that is rare. The best I saw was Zico. Pele doesnt count -- he was on a level of his own.

"Zico had all the fundamentals: he could head, dribble, shoot well with both feet, had great vision and was an athlete. This is a great. Zico, Rivelino, Zidane. Neymar is on this level.

"The way that he plays is absurd."

Ramalho's men play the Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol and their former Santos player Nelsinho in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup on Wednesday.

Source: AFP