Liverpool star Lucas Leiva believes Neymar will be regarded as the world's best player in the coming years. The Brazilian picked his compatriot in his all-time five-a-side team alongside Ronaldinho and former Liverpool stars Xabi Alonso, Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

Neymar was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford during the last transfer window after Globo Esporte reported that Louis van Gaal was launching a €190m (£133m, £203) bid to make the 23-year-old star his marquee signing. The former Santos star himself and his father later confirmed that United did try to secure his services.

However, he opted instead to stay at the Nou Camp, where he has begin the club's leader in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi, scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists as the team climb to the top of La Liga.

Some in Spain have already begun discussing if the Brazil forward is at the level of current Ballon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo or his friend Messi. Leiva agrees with these comparisions, suggesting his countryman will be seen as the world's best player in coming seasons.

"Neymar – My final pick is Luis' partner now, Neymar. He is in fantastic shape and I am sure he will probably be the best player in the world soon," Leivas said to Liverpool's official website after including the Barcelona star in his all-time five-a-side team.

Leiva also picked Alonso, Gerrard and Suarez, having played with the trio during his time at Anfield.

"Xabi Alonso – He is probably the best passer that I have ever played with. He is someone I really learnt from and I really enjoyed playing with him. He controlled the tempo of games," he said about the Bayern Munich midfielder.

"Steven Gerrard – I'm picking Stevie for all the same reasons as Xabi. He has a similar passing quality, but plus the attacking-mindedness and gets forward. They're a very good partnership.

"Luis Suarez – He is incredible. He scores goals, he fights and doesn't give defenders a second on the ball.

He completed the team with Ronaldinho ahead of Philipe Coutinho as his number 10.

"Ronaldinho – I'm playing a 2-1-2 formation, so Ronaldinho is my No.10. There are a few others I could have picked, including Philippe, but I've picked Ronaldinho because he was twice voted the best player in the world. He's magic. He was incredible at Barcelona and with the national team."