Neymar playing for Barcelona
Neymar is predicted as a future Ballon d'Or winnerGetty Images

Kaka says it is inevitable Neymar will one day be seen as the best player in the world. The 33-year-old Brazilian won the Ballon d'Or award back in 2007 and has backed his countryman to follow in his footsteps.

The prize has been monopolised by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi since Kaka's triumph, and he admitted the duo are rightfully regarded as the world's best. However, he does not think it will be long before Neymar is crowned with the title.

Kaka said, according to Fifa.com: "It had always been a rotation: Ronaldo and Zidane won it three times, but there was always some other player – names like [Luis] Figo, Ronaldinho, myself, Rivaldo, [Fabio] Cannavaro … Then comes this succession of Cristiano and Messi, only the two of them – and it is fair, for what they have been doing year after year."

But the World Cup-winning star backed Neymar to become the first Brazilian since himself to win the award.

He said: "It's difficult to point out a single reason [why a Brazilian hasn't won since 2007], but it must serve to alert Brazilian football. And, truth be told, it's no easy task to forge a Ballon d'Or winner.

"Thankfully, Neymar has improved a lot since he's gone to play in Europe – his game is a lot more mature. Now it's a matter of time until he reaches first place."

The Barcelona forward appears alongside Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Messi on the shortlist for the 2015 award. However, the 28-year-old Argentine – who is already a four-time winner of the gong – is expected to be handed the prize at the ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland on January 11.

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