Neymar eyes World Cup final clash with Messi

The 22-year-old Barca star has discussed the possibility of seeing a familiar face at the Maracana on July 13 and assured Brazilian fans that Felipao's side will do them proud.
Neymar says he is targeting a dream World Cup final clash with club teammate Lionel Messi.

The Brazil star joined the four-time World Player of the Year at Barcelona last year and instantly struck up an off-field friendship and a successful on-field partnership with the Argentina international.

And, with just under four months to go until the big kickoff in Brazil, Neymar has admitted that the pair has discussed the possibility of facing off at the famous Estadio do Maracana on July 13.

“I’ve even spoken to [Messi] about a possible Final between Brazil and Argentina, obviously with Brazil winning,” Neymar told “I was always a big fan of his, and am even more so now that I know him.

“He’s surprised me a lot, even as a player. I never realized he was so great when I was just watching him on TV.”

The Selecao begin its quest for the country’s sixth world title against Croatia on June 12 in Sao Paulo before facing Mexico and then Cameroon in what the 22-year-old believes will be a challenging group campaign for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.

“We’ve been given a tough group with some great teams, but we hope to have the best possible tournament,” he said. “All the competing teams are strong so you need to prepare for that to avoid any surprises.”

The former Santos man also will be making his debut in world football’s showpiece competition and admitted that while nerves are to be expected, he believes the home crowd can be sure that he and his compatriots will do them proud.

“It’s in our homeland, which is a huge source of pride. I’m nervous about it, but hopefully I can handle that anxiety,” he said. “[I’d tell the fans] to rest assured they can count on 23 warriors who will be fighting for the national team in our bid to realize everyone’s dream, not just that of the players. Hopefully they’ll drive us on till the end, and we’ll be giving our all for them too.”

Neymar and Brazil continue their World Cup preparations next month when they meet South Africa in Johannesburg as part of the Gillette Brasil Global Tour on March 5.