Former Croatia star Zvonimir Boban plays down the abilities of Brazil's Neymar
Former AC Milan and Croatia star Zvonimir Boban, who won over 50 caps for his country in the 1990s, has claimed that South American players Neymar and Lionel Messi are not all they're cracked up to be, two days before his nation take on the hosts in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.
Boban, winner of four Serie A titles and the Champions League, told reporters that Brazil's young bright hope had a better reputation than his ability suggested: "Neymar to win the Golden Ball? Not at all! He is not so good; so powerful."
"He is a great talent, but he is far from being among the best."
"He will never be a Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Iniesta or Messi."
Speaking of the latter, Boban added that the Barcelona playmaker, a four-time World Player of the Year, plays at "30% of his capacity", and that is only against rivals Real Madrid.
Boban's comments may be with the motive of unsettling the home camp before the tournament gets underway and may yet inspire their subjects to have an eye-catching competition.