Saturday 17 December 2016, 07:05

Rafinha: Neymar can be Messi’s heir

Rafinha has championed Lionel Messi the greatest footballer of all time and identified Neymar as his only potential heir.

Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Cristiano Ronaldo are the final three contenders for The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016 award, and Rafinha is in no doubt who should triumph.

“For me it should be the best player in the world, and the best player in the world is Leo Messi,” the 23-year-old Brazil international told Marca.

"But I do think that Neymar can be the heir to Messi. It is hard to follow in the footsteps of the best player ever, but if anyone can do it, it’s Neymar.”

Rafinha plays alongside Messi and Neymar for Barcelona. He and Neymar helped Brazil end a 64-year wait to win the Men's Olympic Football Tournament in August.

Rafinha’s father, Mazinho, helped Brazil win the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™, while his brother Thiago Alcantara has gained 17 caps for Spain.

The Best FIFA Men’s Player will be crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ ceremony in Zurich on 9 January 2017.