Neymar finished third to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or in 2015, while he is also on the shortlist this year.
The 24-year-old guided Brazil to Olympic gold, and his four goals and as many assists in nine LaLiga games this season help Barca sit second.
Mazinho, a 1994 World Cup winner, believes it is only a matter of time before Neymar is considered the best in the world.
“Neymar will be the best in the world in the near future,” he told Globo Esporte.
“Every great player helps another great player. Messi helps Neymar a lot and Neymar is already one of the best.
“Messi will help him become the best in the world.”