Santos forward Neymar has the potential to be the best player in the world, the Brazilian coach of Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol said Tuesday on the eve of their Club World Cup clash.
The 19-year-old Neymar is the hottest property outside Europe and has attracted the attentions of many of the biggest clubs on the continent and sparked a row between greats Pele and Diego Maradona.
Nelsinho, a former Santos player and coach, added his voice to those predicting a stellar future for the much-coveted Brazilian international.
"He's a player who has huge huge potential," Nelsinho, 61, who in his day was a highly regarded defender, told media in the Japanese city of Toyota.
"He could be the best in the world."
Nelsinho's Kashiwa take on the South American champions Santos on Wednesday in the semi-finals of the annual intercontinental championship. The other semi is between Lionel Messi's Barcelona and the Qataris Al Sadd.
Many are predicting a final showdown between the Argentine Messi -- who is widely regarded as currently the best on the planet -- and Neymar.
Pele recently said Neymar was better than Messi, earning a stinging rebuke from Maradona.