The former Manchester United boss believes Neymar remains a level below the pair and is yet to fulfil his potential at Barcelona
Sir Alex Ferguson thinks Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remain untouchable in world football and challenged Neymar to reach the incredible heights set by the game’s two best players.
The ex-Manchester United boss managed Ronaldo for nearly six years at Old Trafford before he departed for Real Madrid in 2009, where he has won the Ballon d’Or twice in the last two years.
Ferguson also came up against Messi on several occasions – including two Champions League finals, with the Argentine triumphing with Barcelona on both occasions – and he says the pair are way above the rest.
“You’ll always look at clubs like Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United to produce that kind of player you’re talking about,” he said in an interview with SiriusXM FC.
“But to be honest I’m not sure there’s one sticking out at the moment. The boy Neymar gets a lot of publicity about the potential he’s got, but I think that’s still to be seen, still to be fulfilled.
“Certainly, most people I speak to speak highly of the boy. When I had Anderson at United, he spoke volumes about the boy’s ability.
“So hopefully he’ll be the next one who’ll produce the type of talent we see in Messi and Ronaldo.”
Ferguson also offered his backing to Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti following speculation regarding his future on the back of the club’s poor start to 2015.
Madrid have lost top spot in La Liga to Barcelona, whom they trail by five points, and scraped past Schalke to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
“Carlo is a top man,” said Ferguson, who was in the stands for the second leg of that European tie. “I was over at the Real Madrid game with Schalke and he was fantastic.
“He came up and he knew Darren [Alex Ferguson’s son] had lost his job at Peterbrough and said ‘Why doesn’t Darren come and spend a few days at Real Madrid training? It will do him the world of good’.
“He was fantastic. I can’t say enough about that man. He is top drawer – a fantastic human being and a great coach.
“Carlo is one of the best coaches I’ve ever come across and one of my biggest opponents, so I wouldn’t worry about his future, that’s for sure.”