The 23-year-old sees next year's tournament in Chile as the perfect opportunity for Brazil to find some closure following their World Cup defeat to GermanyBrazil international Ricardo Goulart says he is targeting a Copa America showdown against Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
Since July’s World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany, the Selecao have marched to six consecutive Brasil Global Tour victories under new coach Dunga.
Their first competitive test arrives in the form of next year’s tournament in Chile and after injury forced him to withdraw from the squad that met Argentina in Beijing in October, Ricardo Goulart is hoping he will finally get the opportunity to face the Barcelona star.
“[I want to face] Messi. He is a genius,” the 23-year-old told the official Copa America website.
“But every team in the Copa América has great players, I hope to be part of it.”
He has every right to believe he will be.
The Cruzeiro star was the Brasileirao’s player of the season as his side took the league title in 2013 and was named in Dunga’s first two Brazil squads, making his international debut as a substitute against Ecuador in September before a knock saw him replaced by a man he describes as an ‘idol’.
"I admire Kaka, he is one of my idols. I always admired the way he played, with his speed and great finishes.
"Being recognised among these top players is very rewarding."
He was left out of last month’s friendlies against Turkey and Austria, but only because they were reserved exclusively for foreign-based players, and the former Internacional forward is intent on sticking around.
“I always dreamed of being in the national team one day. When I heard about the first call, I was at home with my family.
“I woke up early so as not to miss anything and when my name came I was very happy. It was a sense of achievement. The first call is always different. The staff treated me very well. It was a unique moment, an experience, I hope be selected for the Copa América.
Goulart went on to add that he believes that success in Chile is the perfect chance for Brazil to find some closure on July’s 7-1 defeat to Germany.
“Football is good because it gives you the opportunity to move on.” He said.
“The Copa América is the next tournament, and I hope that Brazil can turn the page. Winning the title would change our image.”