The Peixe wonderkid would love to play like either of the two Spain-based stars, but insisted that his free-kick style has nothing to do with the Portugal internationalSantos star Neymar has revealed his admiration for both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and affirmed that he would be very happy indeed if he could learn from the Barcelona and Real Madrid idols.
The 20-year-old striker has found himself in the sights of both Spanish giants in recent months, despite signing a new contract with the Peixe until 2014. Pep Guardiola's team, as revealed exclusively by Goal.com, appear to be favourites to complete his signing when the time is right.
When questioned on who he looks up to as a footballer, however, Neymar adopted a conciliatory tone as he praised the men who are widely regarded as the two best players in the world.
"I have both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as my idols. If I can take a little of each player's game and make it my own, I would be very happy," the young star laughed, in Thursday's interview with Globoesporte.
One particular aspect of the Brazil international's game which has invited comparisons with Ronaldo is his style of taking free kicks, but Neymar insisted that it was merely coincidence.
"There are players that try to imitate others, but at free-kick time it is a personal thing. Every person has their own technique and routine when they stand over the ball and I have mine, I am not trying to copy anyone."
Neymar was crowned South American Footballer of the Year at the end of 2011 after lifting the Paulista Championship and the Copa Libertadores with Santos.