Five-time FIFA Ballon D’Or winner, Lionel Messi has tipped fellow Barcelona forward Neymar to win the prestigious individual award in the nearest future.
In an interview with France Football, the 28-year-old Argentine said the Brazilian was too technically gifted not to win it.
He said: “Neymar will win the Ballon d’Or one day because he has all the tools to do so. He’s a top-class player and he’ll go as far as he wants to. He’s fast, technically gifted and has the skill to take on people one-on-one.”
In the same vein, the diminutive genius, as commentators have sometimes called him, said he would not be retiring from the game anytime soon as he still had enough power behind his boots.
“I’m in much better shape than in previous years. I had injuries in 2013 and 2014 that meant I wasn’t at the top of my game, whereas now I am. I feel I’m back at the level I was at three or four seasons ago,” he added.
He also gave his take on his arch rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, with whom he has shared the last eight editions of the FIFA Ballon D’Or.
He said: “We’re rivals, but we’ve always respected one another and shared mutual admiration. He deserved the last two Ballons d’Or he won.”