Neymar has revealed that he thinks up to six teams are in with a shout of winning the World Cup this winter as he looks to bring success back to the Selecao in Qatar.
The Brazilian, who is just two shy of overtaking Pele as his country’s all-time top goalscorer, heads into the World Cup with his side the favourites to lift the Jules Rimet in a month’s time, but thinks that they will face stiff competition.
In fact, he named an additional 5 teams among those he expected to challenge for the trophy in Doha, adding that he also envisioned plenty of potential upsets too.
“You get teams that unexpectedly get very far even in the competition even if many don’t believe in them”, the 30-year-old told The Telegraph. “But I believe the favourites are Argentina, Germany, Spain and France. I think those four along with Brazil are fully capable of reaching the final.”
And, when quizzed about Gareth Southgate’s England, he went on to add them to his list of those capable of reaching the final.
“I really forgot about England but obviously they have a chance!”
But, he reserved special praise for a man overlooked by Southgate in the 26-man squad, in the form of skillful winger Jadon Sancho.
“I really like (Harry) Kane and (Jadon) Sancho. They’re two incredible players and I have a special love for them because I like players that have their qualities”, Neymar added.
His predictions come just a day after former PSG teammate Lionel Messi had predicted England, Brazil and France to be the favourites for the trophy.
“The candidates are always the same. There are a few surprises but in general, the big teams are the candidates”, the Argentine told COMNEBOL.
“Above the rest? Brazil, France, England. Today, they are a little above the rest but anything can happen.”
Should either of those three sides lift the trophy, the pair will both be proved right in their predictions, though it may leave both unhappy with the outcome.