PSG star and Arsenal new boy among Jemerson's toughest opponents

The Monaco defender has come up against some of the finest frontmen in the business, while also gracing the same field as the iconic Ronaldinho


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Edinson Cavani and Alexandre Lacazette are among the toughest foes Monaco’s Jemerson has ever faced, while Ronaldinho is the best he has seen.

The Brazilian defender secured a switch to Ligue 1 in January 2016 and has flourished during his short time at Stade Louis II.

With the standard in the French top-flight improving all of the time – with Neymar the latest high-profile addition to the ranks – Jemerson has been pitched into battle against some of the finest frontmen on the planet.

Of those the 25-year-old has faced to this point, he considers Paris Saint-Germain star Cavani and Arsenal’s former Lyon goal-getter Lacazette to be among the elite.

Jemerson told Goal when asked to name the opponents to have given him the toughest time: “Cavani and Lacazette.

“Besides their quality with the ball, they are very intelligent without the ball, they move a lot, they know how to get away from the defenders, they open spaces. They make life very difficult for the defenders”

While currently facing the cream of the crop in Europe, Jemerson came through the ranks at Atletico Mineiro in his homeland – giving him the chance to work with an iconic figure of the modern era.

Pressed to identify the best talent he has played alongside, the Brazil international said: “That’s an easy question. (Ronaldinho) Gaucho!

“What he did in games and training at Atletico was incredible, no doubt he is the best player I ever played with.

“The control he has with the ball is awesome. He can control any pass. His passes are amazing too. “He gave passes that we couldn’t believe. Me and the others defenders were looking at each other and thinking: ‘how did he give that pass and find the forward there?’. He is amazing.”

Jemerson now harbours dreams of emulating Ronaldinho and landing the biggest prizes in world football.

He helped Monaco to reach the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League before falling to Juventus, and he still reflects fondly on a fairytale run which included the securing of numerous high-profile scalps.

“It was a dream come true,” he said.

“I always had the dream to play in the Champions League. To reach the semi-finals, it’s inexplicable. “When you’re listening to the music, no, before, when you’re going upstairs from the locker room to the field, there’s a movie in your head. You remember watching the games on TV when you were a kid and dreaming of being there someday. When you go on the field, you think: ‘I did it. I’m here’.

“The comeback against Manchester City was the most outstanding moment. After the game in England [5-3 to City], a lot of people said that City had already got to the next phase, but we came back at home [winning by 3-1].

“The two games against Tottenham [2-1 wins home and away in the group stage] also marked me a lot.”

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Jemerson has helped Monaco to make a faultless start to the defence of their Ligue 1 title, picking up four wins from as many games, while their latest European adventure is due to get underway with a trip to RB Leipzig on September 13.