Brazilian national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Neymar will be in the mix as one of the three players vying for FIFA's 2013 Ballon d'Or as the world's best soccer player, a prize that Argentina's Lionel Messi, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain's Andres Iniesta are battling for on Monday.
"With 99 percent certainty, Neymar will be among the best three" the next time the prize is handed out "both because of what he did in 2011 and 2012, and because of what he will do in 2013," the coach told the Terra Web site.
Scolari said that since 2007, when Kaka was selected as the best player of the year, no Brazilian player has won FIFA's annual award, but Marta, a winner in the women's category from 2006 to 2010, "is always there."
Brazilians will be back in the competition for the next Ballon d'Or, with Neymar standing out among other players, the coach said.
"Let's see how Lucas Moura performs for Paris Saint Germain and see how Oscar does with Chelsea," Scolari said.
The coach said he would have voted for Cristiano Ronaldo as best player and Portugal's Jose Mourinho, of Real Madrid, as best coach in the awards being handed out by FIFA in Zurich on Monday.
"I worked with Ronaldo and know what he does to keep improving," Scolari said, adding that Mourinho "is a coach who has done very good continuing work." EFE