“I’m Not Even Close” – Humbled by Neymar’s ‘Skills’, Brazil’s ‘White Pele’ Makes Honest Admission in Comparison With Al Hilal Star

It perhaps doesn’t get more legendary than one Brazilian legend comparing himself with another. Soccer fans of the modern era arguably rate Neymar as one of the greatest dribblers in the world. That’s apart from Messi and perhaps also former Belgium and Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who has recently retired from soccer. But this is strictly about Brazil.

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A Brazilian legend of the old guard, dubbed the ‘White Pele’, recently commented about comparisons with current Al Hilal and Brazil icon Neymar. This comes shortly after the Al Hilal forward eclipsed Pele’s goal-scoring record for the Selecao. The former Brazil legend in question, Zico, has now commented on comparisons with Neymar making a huge statement.

Brazil legend Zico comments on comparisons with Neymar


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According to a recent tweet on X by Planeta do Futebol, Zico has been pitting himself against some of the Brazilian greats, and reserved special praise for Brazil’s all-time top scorer Neymar.

As the tweet suggests, when compared with Neymar, Zico said, “Stand-by-step. In terms of skill, I’m not even close. But it’s the same thing I said about Ronaldinho. One thing is objectivity, another thing is skill, technique. I win in one part and he wins in another.”

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Zico’s Brazil record speaks for itself. He is Brazil’s fifth-highest goalscorer with 48 goals in 71 games for Brazil. But just like Neymar, Zico has played in 3 World Cups, but neither has won the tournament for their country.

Both have played three World Cups for Brazil


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For Zico, it was a tragic tale when it came to World Cups. The Brazilian playmaker represented Brazil in 3 World Cups, in 1978, 1982 and 1986. However, the Selecao were eliminated in all three tournaments, with Zico’s only honor being a third-place finish in 1978.

via Imago

Zico scored 5 goals across the 3 tournament appearances, while Brazil’s team of 1982 with Zico at the heart of it is often referred to in the Brazilian media as one of their most complete and balanced squads ever to participate in a World Cup.


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Meanwhile, Neymar has scored 8 goals across his 3 World Cup appearances, in 2014, 2018, and 2022. But he too hasn’t led Brazil to the World Cup glory. However, all is not lost; perhaps the Al Hilal forward will get another chance at the 2026 edition of the tournament, which will be his 4th. Neymar will be 34 by then, and it would perhaps be his last World Cup, but maybe he could lead his country to glory in one final push.

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