‘I tell Messi I’ll be champion!’ – Neymar jokingly suggests potential World Cup final meeting with Argentina


Neymar says he jokes with Lionel Messi that his Brazil side would be victorious in a World Cup final match-up against rivals Argentina.

Neymar revealed he and Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi joke about a potential World Cup final between Brazil and Argentina in Qatar.

Neymar and Messi, along with Kylian Mbappe, form PSG’s fearsome front three that have fired them into a five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 and into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

But that alliance will be temporarily suspended until PSG’s next match on December 28 as the three superstars aim to win the World Cup for their countries.

While heaping praise on Messi and Mbappe, Neymar jokingly hinted at how he fancied his Brazil team’s chances in a potential clash with Messi’s Argentina.

“We don’t discuss it much,” Neymar told The Telegraph. “But sometimes we joke about crossing each other in the final.

“I tell him [Messi] that I will be the champion and I will win against him and we will have a good laugh.

“Playing with him and Kylian is a huge pleasure. They are two greats, with Messi considered the best in the world for a long time.

“Kylian is a young player who is growing and showing his potential and still has a lot to grow. It’s always great to play alongside the greats, I’ve always preferred it because the chances of winning are higher.”

Neymar believes Brazil are one of the favourites, but has also highlighted a number of other teams he believes are capable of reaching the final on 18 December.

“The World Cup is full of surprises,” he explained. “You get teams that unexpectedly go very far even in the competition, even though many don’t believe in them.

“But I believe the favorites are Argentina, Germany, Spain and France. I think these four, along with Brazil, are fully capable of reaching the final.”

At the age of 30, the World Cup in Qatar could be Neymar’s last shot at glory with Brazil, having fallen short of his two previous experiences at international football’s premier tournament.

One was particularly painful when Neymar suffered a back injury in Brazil’s 2014 home tournament quarter-final win over Colombia.

Neymar was kicked out of the semi-final with Germany, a match Brazil lost by a humiliating score of 7-1.

But the former Barcelona striker says his career would not be incomplete if he never won the World Cup, saying: “No, in my career I have achieved things beyond my imagination.

“So if it ended today, I’d still be the happiest person in the world.

The number 10 shirt that Neymar wears for Brazil is steeped in history, having been worn by Selecao legends such as Pele, Ronaldinho and Zico.

Neymar doesn’t feel the pressure that might come with following those Brazilian idols, saying: “I don’t feel under pressure, quite the opposite.

“I am happy to wear the number 10 in the Brazilian team and make history. It is a great pride and honor to be part of the group of players who have worn it and I feel nothing but joy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *