Edmilson: Neymar not a Brazil legend until he wins World Cup
Ex-Selecao Edmilson tells TNP PSG star cannot be considered a Brazilian legend yet
He is the world's most expensive footballer after signing for Paris St Germain from Barcelona for 222 million euros (S$355m).
So far, Neymar has lived up to the astronomical price tag with eight goals in eight games for the French giants.
For Barca, the mercurial Brazilian won two La Liga, one Champions League and one Fifa Club World Cup titles.
For Brazil, the 25-year-old has scored 52 goals in 79 appearances to rank fourth in his country's all-time scoring chart.
But, for former Selecao Edmilson, Neymar does not feature on his list of greatest Brazilian footballers. Not yet.
The ex-Barcelona defender, 41, spent the past weekend in Singapore coaching kids from the Albirex Singapore Soccer School, Albirex-ActiveSG football programme and Yuhua Albirex Football Academy.
On Tuesday, Edmilson told The New Paper: "I can't put a ranking on Neymar if he doesn't win a World Cup.
"Don't get me wrong, of course Neymar is a good player.
"And Zico was a great player who never won the World Cup despite starring for great teams in 1982 and 1986.
"But the ones really up there for Brazilians are the ones who lifted the trophy, legends such as Pele, Romario and Ronaldo (all ahead of Neymar in Brazil's top-scorers' list).
"Neymar is still relatively young, so I'm confident he can win the World Cup with Brazil one day and then we can see where he stands among past winners."
Having played 104 Ligue 1 games for Lyon from 2000 to 2004 before moving to Barca, Edmilson is qualified to comment on whether Neymar can continue to improve after moving to a league that is not regarded as one of Europe's elite.
He said: "There is definitely more technical quality in the way the game is played in La Liga, whereas Ligue 1 action is more physical and it can be more difficult for attackers like Neymar to play in.
"That is perhaps why you see more goals in Spain (2.94 per match) compared to in France (2.61). PSG, with the investments they have, are a couple of steps ahead of the other French clubs but, even then, there is stiff competition from the likes of Monaco, who won the league last season.
"But I feel Neymar can still grow there, playing with top forwards such as Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, as well as his countrymen Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Lucas Moura and Dani Alves.
"He will benefit from playing for an ambitious club that want to win the Champions League."
An in-form Neymar will be key to Brazil's chances of reclaiming the World Cup they last won with Edmilson in the team 15 years ago.
Less than three years after the most humiliating loss in their proud history - a 7-1 World Cup semi-final drubbing by eventual champions Germany on home soil - Brazil rebounded to become the first team to qualify for Russia 2018.
The Selecao travel to Bolivia for a Conmebol qualifier tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
With skipper Paulinho, Casemiro and Renato Augusto bossing the midfield and talisman Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus augmenting the attack, there appears to be a settled first XI for the first time in years.
The swashbuckling way in which they won seven straight qualifiers under Tite gives Edmilson extra optimism.
He said: "Dunga took over from Luiz Felipe Scolari after the World Cup in the hardest time in the history of Brazil football. After that 7-1 defeat, we were left with a broken team.
"But Tite's introduction brought about a new philosophy and new energy.
"By leading the national team to 11 wins and one draw in 13 games, with 32 goals scored and just four conceded, Tite has earned the respect of the players and Brazilians in general.
"And I think they will only get stronger for the World Cup. They will be the favourites, but I rather they are not.
"After all, we were not the favourites in 1994 and 2002 but ended up winning!"