Football News

Ronaldinho: Neymar is my heir, the idol of Brazil

By Ben Green

Published: 15:32, 12 July 2021

Brazil immortal Ronaldinho has labelled current Selecao star Neymar the heir to his throne. 

Ronaldinho, 41, is a Brazilian legend in every sense, winning the World Cup with his nation in 2002 and the 1999 Copa America.

Brazil came close to sealing a 10th Copa America at the weekend, but Tite’s men surrendered their crown to Argentina in the final, losing 1-0 at the Maracana.

The tie was determined in the 22nd minute as Angel Di Maria’s exquisite lob ended La Albiceleste‘s 28-year wait for Copa America glory.

The result means Neymar is yet to lift a trophy with his country, missing out on their 2019 triumph after suffering an ankle injury prior to the tournament.

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Despite a lack of silverware at international level, Ronaldinho believes Neymar is currently carrying his torch for Brazil.

The 2005 Ballon d’Or winner told France Football: “Yes, without a doubt, he’s my heir.

“He’s our main player, the idol of the Brazilians.

“He hasn’t lost his daring, his dribbling, and it’s always a pleasure to see him on the pitch.”

Ronaldinho: Kylian Mbappe can win the Ballon d’Or

Ronaldinho soon turned his attention to one of Neymar’s team-mates at club level, Kylian Mbappe, who he believes has the potential to one day follow in his footsteps and take home the Ballon d’Or.

At just 22, the Paris Saint-Germain sensation has already won the World Cup, sealed four Ligue 1 titles, and clinched an array of other domestic trophies in France.

And if tipping the elite attacker for a Ballon d’Or was not enough of a ringing endorsement, Ronaldinho also dished out a O Fenomeno comparison.

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“He reminds me a bit of Ronaldo. I love this child. He’s a great player, very talented,” he added.

“He has all the qualities to conquer the Ballon d’Or. I like to see him play, especially when Neymar plays with him.

“In terms of top players, Paris is very well served.”