Neymar will win the Ballon d'Or within three years - Valdano

Jorge Valdano believes it will not be long before Neymar takes out a maiden Ballon d'Or crown.

Neymar will be lifting the Ballon d'Or trophy within the next three years, according to former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano. 

The Barcelona star made the three-man shortlist in the 2015 edition but finished third behind second-placed Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Lionel Messi, who won it for a record fifth time. 

And Valdano, speaking to Mexican newspaper Record, said it will not be long before Neymar takes out the award for best player in the world. 

"It was interesting to see him as just an observer at the [2015] Ballon d'Or," he said.

"Within three years we will see him on the stage lifting the trophy and doing a handstand.

"Neymar is increasingly dominating every year. 

"The first season he was just a servant of Messi, but in second he turned into his partner and now he has all the liberties because he feels like he's the best. 

"He projects the image of someone who is happy, on the pitch he prolongs this state of bliss. 

"His football is enjoyed. It is artistic, because he can join his superior technique with his playful imagination. It is something original, beautiful and effective."