Date: 12 May 2017 13:53
The former Spurs midfielder believes his countryman can be the best in the world, while offering advice to another Selecao team-mate
Barcelona star Neymar has everything it takes to become the best player in the world, according to Brazil team-mate Paulinho.
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The 25-year-old, who has struck 10 goals and registered 10 assists in La Liga this season, is widely considered as a future Ballon d'Or contender.
And while Paulinho believes Neymar is still some way behind Barcelona colleague Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, the former Tottenham midfielder insists he has the attributes to surpass the record-breaking duo.
"Everybody knows that he is among the best in the world," Paulinho told Brasil Global Tour. "I do not know how long it will take or whether he will pass the rest, but he has everything to put up big numbers and I am very keen to see him become the best in the world.
"Neymar is a player who is improving every year, his evolution both on and off the field has been very impressive.
"Today, he is showing more leadership than before and a great maturity. He has everything it takes to be the best in the world for many years to come.”
Paulinho, who spent two years in the Premier League with Tottenham before leaving for Guangzhou Evergrande in 2015, also offered advice for Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.
The 20-year-old has impressed in his handful of showings for Pep Guardiola's side since arriving in January, scoring four goals and making two assists in just 381 minutes of top-flight football.
Despite his successful start at the Etihad Stadium, Paulinho has warned that Jesus is still developing his game and must stay humble if he is to reach the top.
“Gabriel has been doing very well and even came back from injury with a goal, but he is still a boy," He added. "He has a very good head on his shoulders, he’s an intelligent lad and he has never done anything like try to dictate how we pass to him.
"He has to keep on doing the simple things he has always done, the things that got him to this stage of his career. He has to keep enjoying it, and stay confident because he has everything to be one of the biggest names in the Premier League.
"If he stays humble, he can go very far in English football.”