Lucas Moura: 'PSG are a massive club'
New PSG signing Lucas Moura is eager to begin his time in the French capital, where he plans to emulate France great Zinedine Zidane and lock down a place in the Brazil team ahead of the 2014 World Cup in his home country.
PSG signed Lucas for €35m in the summer, but acceded to the 20-year-old's wishes of deferring the move until the end of the Brazilian season, meaning the gifted midfielder will land in Paris in January ready to take on the second half of the season with the current league leaders.
"I am leaving Brazil for a great opportunity abroad offered to me by Paris Saint-Germain," beamed the Sao Paolo attacker. "A footballer needs to seize moments like these, you'll never know what tomorrow is going to bring. I have goals to achieve in Europe and PSG are a massive club. They made a proposal that was good to me and to São Paulo, there are a lot of Brazilian players at PSG and the club has an excellent project. These factors made me reach a decision."
Apart from adapting quickly in the star-studded locker room of Paris Saint-Germain, Lucas is aiming to take his game to the next level in Europe, and is thrilled with the prospect of Champions League football, where many of his role models have shone in the past.
"Zinedine Zidane was my idol," he said. "I know he's been a bogeyman for Brazil in World Cups but he was one of the best players I have seen. I have always enjoyed watching skilful players such as Robinho, Messi, Denilson and Ronaldinho. Those guys had a fantastic touch and I studied them a lot so I could try to emulate some of their moves, copy some of their skills!"
Lucas is also hoping that the step up to European football will hold him in good stead for a place in the Brazil side when the World Cup is held in his homeland in two years' time.
"It means a lot to Brazilian footballers that the next World Cup will be played in our country," he explained. "Being part of the team in that tournament is something I think of everyday. We grow up watching the games on TV and now there's a chance to actually play for Brazil in a World Cup. It's getting closer and closer but you have to prove everyday that you deserve a place in the squad. I will fight hard to be part of the team and help Brazil's quest for a sixth title. We could do it at home and in front of our supporters and that is a chance of a lifetime."
So, the silky-skilled Brazilian is looking forward to getting down to business in France, and there can be no doubt that Ligue 1 is looking forward to seeing his very Brazilian pace, skill and spectacular moves in France, at least according to ex-PSG player Paolo César.
"He will be a great surprise in the second half of the season," predicted César, who played for PSG from 2002 to 2007. "PSG's opponents will really need to watch out because is incredibly fast. On top of that, he has already started learning French, which should make things a bit easier for him. Thiago Silva, who sees him often with the national team, talks to him a lot. Leonardo will no doubt advise him well once he arrives in Paris. People in France who aren't familiar with him are in for a big surprise."