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Jose Mourinho had the perfect response when asked if Neymar is the greatest Brazilian player since Pele

Jose Mourinho had the perfect response when asked if Neymar is the greatest Brazilian player since Pele

Mourinho put his foot down.

Jose Mourinho had to get a few things off his chest after being asked if Neymar is the best Brazilian footballer since Pele.

Placar, a Brazilian football magazine, made the claim about the world's most expensive player back in 2019.

Neymar is Brazil's top scorer alongside Pele, having scored 77 goals in 124 appearances for his country.

It's a hot debate - which Mourinho felt the the need to have his say on back in 2019. The current Roma manager made some very interesting points.

While he isn't denying the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is a special player, he feels he's still behind the legendary Selecao duo of Rivaldo and Ronaldo, who both led their country to World Cup triumphs in addition to conquering Europe.

"Neymar is a fantastic talent and nobody can doubt that," Mourinho said on DAZN, as per Goal.

"He came to Europe and won immediately.

"But I think they forgot players that were the best of the world at some point, such as Ronaldo and Rivaldo, just citing two, and I could remember more.

"They also came to Europe and were fantastic, but beyond that, they passed through this special situation in a country's life that is succeeding on the international level.

"Neymar will keep fighting to be on Europe's elite, where he already is, and this [winning with Brazil] will continue to be a dream for him."

Neymar and Pele together in 2012. (Image

Neymar was unplayable as Brazil won the Confederations Cup in 2013 but a Copa America or World Cup triumph would strengthen the argument that he's the best player to hail from Brazil.

The 30-year-old helped Brazil to the final of the 2021 Copa America, but they were beaten by Argentina in the final.

Brazil were among the favourites to go all the way in the 2022 World Cup, boasting sensational squad depth. They were dumped out of the competition by Croatia in the quarter-finals, which saw manager Tite resign and Neymar suggest it could be his last appearance at a major tournament.

He said: "Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment. Maybe I’m not thinking straight.

Neymar with his Brazil teammates. (Image

"To say that this is the end would be rushing myself, but I don’t guarantee anything either. Let’s see what happens going forward.

"I want to take this time to think about it, think about what I want for myself. I will not close the door to playing with Brazil, nor do I say 100% that I’ll come back.

"I need to think a bit more about this, about what is the right thing for me and for the national team."

Pele sadly died last December at the age of 82, with the footballing world still mourning the loss.

Featured Image Credit: beIN SPORTS & Neymar

Topics: Jose Mourinho, Pele, Neymar, Brazil