Barcelona superstar Neymar says he will be fulfilling a childhood dream by playing in Saturday’s Champions League final against Juventus in Berlin. Neymar admits he is excited over the prospect of playing in Saturday’s Champions League final. But the Brazilian is in no doubt as to the task in hand when his side take on Italian champions Juventus at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Barcelona last won the Champions League in 2011 and were eliminated last season by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals in Neymar’s first year at the club.
The Catalans last won the competition in 2011 and the Brazil striker moved to Camp Nou two years later, winning his first trophies this term in the Liga title and the Copa del Rey. His legendary compatriot Ronaldo never won the competition, despite representing Barca, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter during his illustrious career and Neymar is determined to outdo the 38-year-old.
“I’m very anxious,” he admitted. “Ronaldo did not win the Champions League, which shows how difficult it is. We have the chance to win and I will do my all to win the title. The team is happy. There’s a good atmosphere, good for work and now we’re concentrating on the final.”
The Brazilian, who has won a Confederations Cup medal and played in a World Cup semifinal on home soil for his country, told the pregame news conference that playing in the CL decider was going to be the biggest occasion of his career to date.
“For me to play in this final is a dream, since I was a kid, of six or seven years old,” he said. “Now the moment has come. So tomorrow I must do everything tomorrow to come out the winner, with my team. I want to live this dream, which is to win the Champions League.”
Neymar has formed a key part of Barca’s all-South American front three this season, while he and fellow attackers Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scoring a record 120 goals between them in all competitions. Neymar has scored nine goals in the Champions League this season, one less than team-mate Lionel Messi, who is the tournament’s leading scorer.
“To play with Messi and Luis Suarez is a pleasure,” the Brazil international said. “It’s an honor to play with two football giants as they are. Leo and Luis are two players of a great level, with a lot of quality. The main thing is our friendship, on and off the pitch.”
On the other hand, Neymar said that he had long been a fan of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. “Buffon is a great goalkeeper in football’s history,” he said. “Since I was a kid I played with him on the Playstation so I am a big fan. I would be very happy to score against him.”