Ronaldinho made me a Barcelona fan - new right-back Nelson Semedo

Nelson Semedo says he has always been a Barcelona fan, even before joining the club this summer, because as a kid he was infatuated with Brazil star Ronaldinho.

Semedo, 23, signed from Benfica in a deal worth an initial €30 million earlier this month, agreeing to a five-year c at Camp Nou.

Growing up in Lisbon, Semedo would watch Barca games and admire the talent of Ronaldinho, who scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for the Catalan club between 2003 and 2008.

"I've been a Barca fan since I was little, I always liked them," he said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.

"It was Ronaldinho that influenced me because back then I was playing as an attacking midfielder and he was, no, he is my idol. I watched all his games and he had a massive influence on me."

However, Semedo was converted into a full-back by Benfica B coach Helder Cristovao and has since had to seek new reference points to develop his game -- although he didn't have to look far.

"Dani Alves is a huge reference for me because, more or less, we have the same characteristics," he added.

"He is also really attacking. I try to learn from him, as well as the other great players that are here now, like Aleix Vidal, who's a great full-back. I try to learn as much as I can from everyone.

"And thanks to the help of all my teammates I'm adapting well so far, it's been really easy. It's a team with a great structure, so many quality footballers ... it's a dream to be here."

Semedo, who made his debut in the International Champions Cup win over Juventus at the weekend, has had a taste of the drama which follows Barca in his first few weeks at the club with the tour of the United States being dominated by talk of Neymar's future.

The Brazil international is weighing up an offer from Paris Saint-Germain, who are willing to pay his €222 million buyout clause and €30m annually after taxes, but Semedo would bet on him staying.

"I hope [Neymar stays]," the Portugal international said. "He's a great player and for me, it's a pleasure to be able to speak with him, due to the fact that we both speak Portuguese.

"I haven't asked him [if he will stay], but I am sure that he will. I would bet on him remaining at Barca."