Neymar: I dream of playing for a big club like Barcelona

The Santos starlet also name-checked Real Madrid and Chelsea in his appraisal of certain European sides, before revealing his excitement ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil

Neymar has revealed his desire to leave Santos to join “a big club” and said that Barcelona are the team which currently impress him the most.

The Brazilian talent has long been linked with a move away from South America to Europe and Barca remain the favourites to sign him.

Neymar has admitted he would love to be in the same team as Lionel Messi and Co.

“Who wouldn’t dream about playing alongside Messi, Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta? They’re all great players,” he told Esporte Espetacular. “I dream of playing Europe, for a big club like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

“Yes, Barcelona [are the team that impress me the most], who has great players like Xavi, Iniesta, [Cesc] Fabregas and Dani Alves.

“[But] there’s no point in speculating when I’ll leave Santos. I’ll leave when I want to.

“I don’t know where I would fit if I joined Barca, but I know my place is at Santos right now.”

Despite being heralded as one of the most talented players to emerge in Brazil in recent years, Neymar has not been immune to criticism but he says he tries not to let such things get to him.

“I try to lay low and keep focused all the time,” he added. “Some days things go my way, some days they don’t. I can’t be perfect every day.”

World Cup 2014 is less than 18 months away from kicking off in Brazil, and Neymar admitted his excitement but called for calm on comparisons to Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, but if I do, I’ll be more than happy,” he continued. “I don’t have this goal of being better than this or that player, I’ll always just want to better myself.

“[Luis Felipe Scolari] is another great coach that I’ll have the opportunity to work with. I’ve learned a lot with Mano Menezes, who first got me into Selecao, and I’ll learn with Scolari now.

“Fans can expect lots of effort and dribbles. Brazil will do well, and it’ll be great to play at home. I hope to do well in this World Cup.”

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