Neymar must leave Paris Saint-Germain if he wants to become the best player in the world and Real Madrid would give him the best platform to do it, claims Rivaldo.
The Brazilian forward made the surprise decision to swap Barcelona for PSG last summer, becoming the most expensive player in history in the process.
Although he has performed well in his debut season at Parc des Princes, the notable lack of competition in French football means he is unlikely to contest for the Ballon d’Or that he so desperately wants.
Neymar has been told he has to leave Paris Saint-Germain if he is to reach his full potential
Rivaldo, pictured after winning the 2002 World Cup, says Real Madrid would be his best option
According to World Cup winner Rivaldo, the only division that will grant him that opportunity is La Liga and, considering his ties at the Nou Camp are well and truly severed, his only option to return is in the white shirt of their greatest rivals.
‘I have even told [Neymar] he could be the best in the world,’ Rivaldo told GloboEsporte.com. ‘But I believe that if he stays at PSG, it will not happen. He has to leave PSG.
‘The football for him, if he is to be the best in the world, has to be in Spain. If you’re going to analyse, there’s England, Spain, Italy, Germany – all different – but I’m talking about competitive football.
‘Barcelona, because of his situation, is difficult. But I believe that, from what I hear, from people who bring information to me, he has a chance to play for Real Madrid.
‘Then, yes, I think he can be the best in the world.’
Neymar is currently injured with a broken foot but is expected to be fit for the World Cup
The 26-year-old would do his Ballon d’Or chances no harm by emulating Rivaldo by claiming the World Cup in Russia this summer. He is, however, in a race against time to be fit for their opening game against Switzerland on June 17 after suffering a broken foot.
Although he won’t play for PSG again this season, it appears he will return in plenty of time to link up with the five-time world champions after ditching his crutches last week.
At a recent promotional event in Sao Paolo, he said: ‘There isn’t an exact date yet. I have the last exam, if I’m not mistaken, on May 17.
‘I hope I won’t watch the World Cup on TV! I will have enough time to prepare. It’s evolving well. I will arrive better than I was before.’
Neymar will hope to emulate Rivaldo by winning the World Cup, last lifted by Brazil in 2002