The forward was appointed Brazil’s captain following their quarter-final exit at the 2018 World Cup but he was stripped of the armband by Brazil boss Tite for last year’s Copa America.
And Rafael, who won the silver medal alongside Neymar at the 2012 Olympic Games, insists the 28-year-old does not show leadership qualities but is ‘the best player in the world’ when he the right mentality.
Brazil star Neymar has been criticised by ex- Man United defender and compatriot Rafael
Rafael (left) has insisted that the 28-year-old forward does not show leadership qualities
‘He needs to improve a lot outside the pitch to come inside the pitch and do his best. I hope he can do that and if he does we have a big chance to win [World Cup],’ he told ESPN.
‘Neymar is not a leader. I don’t think he’s a leader. It’s not him. He can do the things he does because if he is good, if he’s focused and concentrated, he is the best player in the world.
‘There are a lot of things you need to do. If he does that and someone can put this in his mind – I know him and I’ve played with him – I know he’s hard guy to listen to orders. It’s not good with him.
‘I think he needs to listen more and if he does that it will be hard to stop Brazil.’
Neymar won the Confederations Cup with Brazil back in 2013 plus the gold medal in Rio four years ago and will be looking to bring more glory to his homeland with the Copa America and World Cup on the horizon.
Rafael won the silver medal for Brazil alongside Neymar at the 2012 Olympic Games