FIFA President Joseph Blatter and former Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo urged Santos star Neymar to move to Europe if he wants to become a legend in Brazil. Speaking at a press conference in Sao Paulo, where the 2012 Ballon d’Or finalists were announced, Blatter said: "Neymar is outstanding, but it’s difficult for anyone not playing in Europe to be one of the finalists. The standard of football in Brazil is high, but European football is the benchmark of club football right now." He added that Neymar could be one of the finalists if he performs well at the 2014 World Cup, which is being hosted by Brazil.
Ronaldo, who won the world title in 2002 in South Korea and Japan, agreed. "Neymar is on the list of 23 players nominated for the award and that is a great achievement, but I think that to be a finalist he’ll have to play in Europe or have a great World Cup with the national team in 2014," he said, adding that the Santos star "isn’t very well known in Europe. I spoke to him once about the possibility of playing in Europe, in terms of his ambition. I told him that to be one of the world’s top players he has to sign for a European club.”