Pele tips Neymar for greatness
The 19-year-old forward is considered one of the brightest prospects in world football at the moment and has been linked with a number of elite clubs this summer. Neymar currently plays for Pele's former club and the former FIFA World Cup winner acknowledges it will be a challenge to persuade the striker to stay with Santos.
"I think it is very difficult to keep him in Brazil," Pele said. "Santos is my team and he started there with us. I hope he stays there until more or less the 2014 World Cup, but it will be a little difficult to keep him here.
"He is a good player, there's no doubt. He will be like a Kaka, a Messi - of that there is no doubt. Or a Ronaldo, a Zico, a Pele. He is an excellent player. I hope that he does (reach his potential)."
Pele, 70, believes the teenager made the right decision to stay at Estadio Vila Belmiro last year and warned if a move eventually comes about it will take him a while to adapt to European football. "He's a good player who could play in any team, but it's hard to say if he'll come to Europe or not," Pele added.
"Last year he had the same proposals, but he decided to play another year in Brazil. I think it was good for him because to play in England I think it would have been a little complicated for him. The style of Neymar, in England, Germany, Italy it's a little complicated because the marking is very tight."
Neymar was a rare shining light in Brazil's disappointing Copa America campaign this summer, which saw their tilt at glory curtailed at the quarter-final stage after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Paraguay.
"Listen, this is football, it is a box of surprises," Pele said. "Everybody before two months ago said 'Oh, we're going to have a very nice final - Brazil against Argentina'. 'Neymar - the great player from Brazil - against Leo Messi'. This was before the Copa America. Then, unfortunately, Brazil and Argentina went out."