Neymar has scored 90 goals in 149 appearances since joining the LaLiga champions from Santos in 2013.
The Brazil captain is part of a formidable front three alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that is set to line up once more against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Messi is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with his Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo tipped to claim the prize for a fourth time this year on the back of Champions League and Euro 2016 glory.
Neymar came third in the voting for football’s most sought-after individual prize last time around, but midfielder Rakitic expects his standing to improve in the near future.
“If we speak about the best, it is Leo Messi. Neymar is on the way to be the next best,” he said in an interview with the Times.
“Barca will do the best thing to sign a new contract with him and maybe they can put a buyout clause as high as possible, because he will be the next Messi for sure.”
“He’s only 24. He’s really special.”