Monaco's Jemerson hoping to end 'magical' season by keeping Messi quiet

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The Brazilian centre-half has seen his efforts at club level rewarded with an international call-up, just in time for a friendly date with Argentina

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After enjoying a “magical” season at Monaco, Jemerson is now looking to keep Lionel Messi quiet in Brazil’s friendly date with Argentina.

The 24-year-old centre-half enjoyed a breakout campaign at Stade Louis II in 2016-17, making 45 appearances in all competitions.

His efforts helped to secure the Ligue 1 title, a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League and another senior international call-up.

Jemerson acknowledges things could not have gone much better for him or Monaco, as they positioned themselves back among European football’s elite.

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He told Goal: “It was a marvellous season. Few people predicted that we could go so far, even in Ligue 1. Winning the Ligue 1 title was special, since the club had not won for so long [17 years] and having such a powerful opponent in PSG.

“In the Champions League, after going through all the qualifying stages, picking up a group that was called a 'death group' and surviving to the semi-final was magical. If we look at all of the teams behind us Barcelona, Bayern, [Manchester] City and Dortmund, which we have eliminated — it's a great achievement.

“This was a year that brought us a lot of learning and professional growth, both individually and as a collective, with so many players standing out. I am very happy to finish the season with this call to the Selecao, with the Ligue 1 title and also with another goal.”

Jemerson Lionel Messi

On being called upon by Brazil boss Tite, Jemerson added: “The emotion is so big. We work every day at our club, do our best, and it's rewards like this that we hope and wait for.

“It's recognition of our work and that we're doing the best in everything. I thought of everything I've been through to get here, all the sacrifice, the whole fight. Moments like this show that everything was worth it."

While delighted to have seen his form recognised, Jemerson could be thrown in at the deep end during a friendly date with Argentina on June 9, with the possibility of debuting against Barcelona talisman Messi.

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He added on that challenge: “Messi is one of the greatest players of all time and being able to play against him will be an honour.

“It would be better if he was on our side, but since it is not possible, if I have the opportunity to play, I hope not to let him do much on the field!”

Jemerson was brought to Europe by Monaco in January 2016 from Atletico Mineiro, penning a five-year contract.

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