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6 Jul, 2021 11:35

‘Unique skills’: Fans go wild for Neymar nutmeg assist as Brazil book Copa America final spot – and star wants MESSI next (VIDEO)

‘Unique skills’: Fans go wild for Neymar nutmeg assist as Brazil book Copa America final spot – and star wants MESSI next (VIDEO)

Neymar declared he wants to face Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Saturday’s Copa America final after the Brazil star pulled off some typical ingenuity as he assisted Lucas Paqueta in their 1-0 win over Peru in the semi-final.

Neymar weaved his way beyond two Peru defenders – nutmegging one of them – as he laid on Paqueta for the only goal of the game in the 35th minute at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

Bidding to defend the title they won two years ago, also on home soil, Brazil will face either Argentina or Colombia in the South American showpiece at the iconic Maracana on Saturday.

Neymar, 29, made it clear that he wants to line up against former Barcelona teammate Messi, who has been in dazzling form at the tournament thus far, registering four goals and four assists in five matches.

“I want Argentina, I am cheering them on,” Neymar said after the narrow win against Peru, a team they had swept aside 4-0 during the group stage. 

“I have friends there and in the final Brazil will win.”

RT

The Paris Saint-Germain star missed his country’s 2019 triumph in the tournament due to injury, as Brazil knocked out Messi and Argentina in the semi-final before seeing off Peru.

This time round, Neymar  has scored twice and provided three assists – including the one on Monday night which delighted social media.

“Neymar pulling off some unique skills that led to the only goal of the match,” wrote one fan account, sharing the clip.

“It’s good to have expressive Brazilians like Neymar and Paqueta,” gushed another Twitter user.

Having reached the 68-goal mark for his country during the tournament, Neymar is now just nine goals away from Pele’s all-time record of 77 strikes.

RT

Not everyone has been so in thrall to Neymar however, with former Argentina star Oscar Ruggeri suggesting the showboating Brazil star needs a "good kicking". 

"He was doing tricks at 4-0 against Peru, I'd have hit him with a good kicking," said Ruggeri. 

"When you see an opponent is destroyed and the game is dead, you can't do that. It's true that he's different, but he's not like Leo [Messi]."

This edition of the Copa America is being played out amid empty stands and a controversial backdrop, having been moved to Brazil after original co-hosts Argentina and Colombia were stripped of the tournament due to the Covid situation and political unrest.

There was heavy criticism in Brazil when the nation stepped in as hosts, given that the situation on both fronts is criticized as being equally as bad, if not worse.

Nonetheless, Brazil are now in sight of winning a 10th edition of the competition. Argentina, meanwhile, will be hoping to end their 28-year wait for glory, having lost four finals since they last won the tournament back in 1993.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Messi scores SENSATIONAL free-kick in all-star performance to fire Argentina into Copa America semi-finals (VIDEO)