Barcelona’s latest superstar Neymar has admitted he’s currently living his boyhood dream since signing for the Catalan giants, whilst revealing that Lionel Messi is his idol.
Neymar finally completed his long-protracted transfer to Spain from Santos this summer, signing a 5-year deal for a fee of €57million.
The 21-year old only recently made his Barca debut – coming on as a late substitute in a 2-2 friendly draw at Polish side Lechia Gdansk – having joined up with his new squad mates later than most after participating in Brazil’s victorious Confederations Cup tournament.
Now Neymar is set to make his first appearance at the Nou Camp tonight in what should be an emotional occasion, as the La Liga champions play host to his boyhood club Santos, for the Joan Gamper invitational trophy.
However the Brazilian is only looking forward to beginning a new chapter of his career, telling reporters he feels in awe of his new surroundings:
When I am training it feels like being in a dream. A dream I had when I was a kid and that is coming true now.
I turn my head and there is Messi. Or Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or [Carles] Puyol. I feel complete, it is like a dream. I am really, really happy.
Fans will be eager to see how new coach Gerardo Martino – also making his home ‘debut’ – will pair Neymar with Lionel Messi, and how both superstars will complement each others game.
Whilst it is widely expected that the Brazilian will occupy the wide-left attacking areas, and Messi, his more central ‘false-9’ role, there’s much anticipation to see exactly how the skilful double-act will gel.
When asked if he thought they were fully compatible Neymar has little doubt, but also revealed something that would have been deemed almost heretical in years gone by in his native Brazil: their latest superstar, proclaiming an Argentine number 10 as his idol; not one of their own:
I have to keep on doing my thing and fulfil this dream. He is wonderful, Messi. He is always happy, he is a great guy. We talk every day.
Don’t worry, I am sure there is going to be no problem at all. He is my idol. For me, he is the best. I respect him a lot and I hope to be able to help him out.
The last time Barca and Santos met, Neymar was on the end of a footballing lesson from his idol and eventual employees, as Barcelona dismantled their South American opponents 4-0 in the 2009 Club World Cup – Messi scoring two sublime goals.
Barca play Santos tonight (2/08/13) at Camp Nou – 21.30 kick-off.