Pele says Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho can win the Ballon d’Or without moving to Barcelona.
The 25-year-old Brazilian, who was holding out for a move to Barcelona this summer, has to date never featured on the 30-man shortlist, and so Pele’s claim in quite a bold one.
Pele was asked about Neymar’s chances of joining Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka as Brazilians who have won the Ballon d’Or and he volunteered the name of the Liverpool midfielder.
The French giants broke the world transfer record last month when they completed an astonishing £198million move to land Neymar from Barca.
Pele has endorsed his compatriot’s decision, stating that the forward needed to move away from the Nou Camp to really showcase his talents.
He told Marca: “At the moment the best player in Brazil is Neymar and I think the move for him was very good because there was huge competition with [Lionel] Messi at Barcelona.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for him and he needed to move because now he can really play and show what he’s capable of. But it’s also very dangerous when you get given that responsibility.”
As for Neymar’s hopes of eventually becoming the fifth Brazilian to win the Ballon d’Or, Pele added: “Of course he can.
“Neymar has a football at his feet which is all he needs. Coutinho is a player I think we should all look at too because he is excellent for his team. No doubts at the moment though that Neymar is the one.”