Serial Brazilian World Cup winner Cafu has backed compatriot and Barcelona star Neymar to raise his game and surpass the level of current footballing juggernauts Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as reported by ​Goal. ​

The 46-year-old made the comments in the midst of the FIFA awards on Monday night which heralded Real Madrid star Ronaldo as 'The Best FIFA Men's Player of 2016', beating fellow finalists Messi and Antoine Griezmann. 

But Cafu is of the opinion that Neymar, who at 24 is younger than his nearest rivals, is close to surpassing their achievements and gaining the recognition.

"Neymar is not far from them," he said.

"I'm sure in the next few years he'll be playing as the best in the world."

However, despite his expectations for the former Santos starlet, Cafu expects the debate surrounding the best player in the world to continue, stating also that Ronaldo had greater consistency throughout 2016, particularly given his European success with Portugal.

"It is a dispute of many years. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are the two who stand out in the world," he said.

"This year, again, will be Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.

"I think Cristiano Ronaldo has an advantage because he had a regularity all year round."