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Clash against France will be a good test: Neymar

Brazil captain Neymar relishing prospect of taking on Les Blues in Paris' Stade de France tonight

Paris: Brazil captain Neymar says he cannot wait for a 'great' test his side will face in today's clash with France.

Brazil's Neymar attends a training session at Paris' Charlety Stadium. Pic/AFP
Brazil's Neymar attends a training session at Paris' Charlety Stadium. Pic/AFP 

The Barcelona forward has been in inspired form since inheriting the captaincy from Thiago Silva following last year's World Cup, hitting seven goals as he led Dunga's side to six consecutive victories.

Next up is Les Bleus at Stade de France in a rematch of the 1998 World Cup final, though for Neymar the 3-0 victory that gave France their first world title is all in the past.

"I love to play games like these," he said on his arrival in Paris. "Two huge national teams, and a packed stadium in the opponent's home. It will be a great game.

"I remember the game (1998 World Cup final) and France's three goals very well. We were all very sad at home. But this match has nothing to do with 1998. That story has been overcome. Brazil are five-time world champions."

He added: "These are very important matches to see where we need to improve and where we still have problems. These will be matches at a very high level and a good test."

Neymar's Brazil teammate Miranda will be partnered in central defence by Thiago Silva in the absence of the injured David Luiz.

France's dilemma
Meanwhile, for France coach Didier Deschamps, tonight's primary concern will be who to play up front, with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud of Arsenal and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Greizmann all in fine club form.

Not to mention that Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette is top scorer in Ligue 1 while there are also his clubmate Nabil Fekir, Marseille's Dimitri Payet and Mathieu Valbuena of Dynamo Moscow vying for roles in attacking positions.

It's a nice problem to have but a plethora of attacking options does not automatically translate into goals, as France's last two friendly results attest: a 1-1 draw with Albania and 1-0 win over Sweden.

Neymar for Brazil
60
Appearances

42
Goals

22
assists

0.7
Neymar's goals per game average

Neymar as Brazil captain since the 2014 World Cup
6
Appearances

7
Goals

76 minutes
Neymar's goal per minute average

Brazil's highest scorers
1: Pele (77 goals)
2: Ronaldo (62)
3: Romario (55)
7: Neymar (42)

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