Former Brazil forward Edilson believes that he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar in his prime. The 48-year-old spent most of his playing years in Brazil, playing for clubs like Palmeiras, Cornthians and Flamengo.

His only spell in Europe was when he was on loan at Benfica during the 1994/95 season. “At my best, I played better than Neymar,” he told TV Bandeirantes. “He needs to win the World Cup in order to be better than me.”

Edilson made just over 20 appearances for Brazil but ended up playing a crucial role in the latter stages of the qualification for the 2002 World Cup. He was selected in the team that went to the World Cup and shared a dressing room with the likes of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. Brazil went on to win the trophy.

“I have personality, and for Messi to be better than me, he also has to win the World Cup.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is just strength; he strikes the ball well with both feet, but I’m more skillful than him.”

Messi and Ronaldo are considered among the greatest players of all time while Neymar has played more than 100 matches for Brazil. Out of the three, Messi has come closest to winning the World Cup, reaching the final of the 2014 World Cup against Germany.

Ronaldo, however, wore the captain’s armband during Portugal’s success at Euro 2016. Neymar has an Olympic gold medal to his name. Both players have reached the semi-final of the World Cup.