Lucas Moura aiming high with PSG
Lucas Moura has laid bare his ambition to make Paris Saint-Germain "a great European club" when the Brazilian wunderkind finally moves to the French capital at the year's end.
Though he signed a four-and-a-half year deal with PSG last summer, the much-vaunted attacking midfielder will only join his new club following the end of Sao Paulo's domestic campaign in Brazil later this month.
And when he does eventually cross the Atlantic, the €45 million Ligue 1 record purchase plans on rolling up his sleeves.
"I like challenges. Paris Saint-Germain are putting together a very competitive team, which will go far. I want to come to Paris to transform PSG into a big European club," Lucas said. "I want to grow with the club, and whether that happens quickly or in two or three years doesn't worry me."
With five Brazilians already in the squad at the Parc des Princes, and sporting director Leonardo also a compatriot, Paris should feel like a home from home for Lucas, who believes his switch will be all the smoother with his friend, centre-back Thiago Silva, at his side.
"Each time we're together, we talk a lot, particularly about Paris of late," Lucas said. "When I told him I was in talks with Leonardo, he told me, 'Sign! PSG are putting together a team of galacticos. The club's infrastructure is marvellous and so is the city. Come, I'm going to help you."
The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are not the only things Lucas will have to discover. In an interview with France Football, he admitted he has rarely watched PSG on TV - "I wanted to concentrate on the end of the season" – and is struggling to learn French, but one part of the Sao Paulo-born starlet's heart is already tinged by tricolore.
"My idol has always been Zidane, even if my style is slightly different to his and with far fewer qualities," Lucas said. "His game was more rhythmical, a little like Ganso today. I loved watching Zidane play, even if he killed us at World Cups.
"I liked other players whose style was similar to mine, guys like Robinho, Denilson, Ronaldinho or Messi. I watch what they do and try to copy certain moves or a dribble, but my idol remains Zidane."