Lemar: Neymar will be 2016's main contender

These days Lemar can legitimately be called a veteran of England's music circuit, having burst onto the scene back in 2003. While the soul and pop singer has been pushing his latest album, music has not been his sole focus, with the north London native keeping one eye firmly on his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

Born within earshot of White Hart Lane, he has been enjoying the sight of seeing Mauricio Pochettino lead something of a revolution at Spurs and the platinum-selling artist gave his views on the new feel of the side exclusively in conversation with FIFA.com.

He also reflects on his childhood memories of Paul Gascoigne and explains why he thinks Neymar could break Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA Ballon d'Or domination.

FIFA.com: When did you start supporting Spurs? Lemar:I grew up in Tottenham, born and raised a street away from the ground, so by default – everyone in the family supports them. I don't know if I ever made the decision! I just grew up as one, that was it. You could hear the matches from my bedroom window when they used to play.

When you were growing up it was one of the most enjoyable times to grow up watching Tottenham. Gazza, Chris Waddle, Gary Lineker, Ossie Ardiles all spent time at the club... Oh Gazza, jeez. I still think he's one of the best players, period. Throughout Gascoigne's career and still now, I think he's one of the best players ever for Tottenham and England. I just think he's an exceptional talent on an international level. I was down there recently in the box watching a game with Ossie Ardiles, it was just amazing during those kind of glory days – or with those 'glory players'. But we're not on a bad run right now!

There's quite a buzz about what's going on at the lane now. Do you like the direction Pochettino is taking you? Yeah, exactly! I think Pochettino has done a really good job. The team's on the young side, there's a lot of potential, but they're beginning to pull it together slowly but surely. During the second half of the season, because we're a striker short, when people start getting tired we will start suffering more. After a slow start to the season, every win brings more confidence and brings us closer as a team. There was a time when we were going through managers a bit too quickly, I think. With the younger players it's good that we're holding on to them and developing them well.

Did you have any worries earlier in the season about Kane rediscovering his scoring touch or did you always have faith? I stood by him – a few people asked the question: 'Do you think Kane's still got it or is he a one-season-wonder?' I really did think he was going to come together. I think it's the test of a good player, you've got to be able to take that pressure on board. I think the difference between good and great is when you're under pressure that's when you show your class. We saw it when Bolt ran against Gatlin. Gatlin was faster than him, but when it mattered and the pressure was on Gatlin over-stretched for the line.

What would be your realistic and dream expectations for the season? Well the dream prediction is number one! Then with Arsenal in sixth or something like that! The way it looks, fourth position would be great if we go on an amazing run for the rest of the season and get a striker in. If we don't get a striker in, then might be the limit. I'm hoping for fourth and I'd be over the moon as we keep finishing just outside it.

You've played in front of thousands at the likes of the O2 Arena in the past – how do you think the mix of adrenaline and nerves compares to those on the football field? I think it's very much the same. I think probably a striker, or a goalkeeper when he saves a penalty, is the closest thing you get to going on stage. I don't know what it is, if it's love, that energy you get from people when they are on your side is something that is quite unexplainable. That's why strikers love scoring. Yes, it's scoring the goal, but that euphoric feeling of having the crowd on your side as a whole really is an immense thing. To make it even more carnal, human beings love to be loved.

Who is your tip to walk away with the FIFA Ballon d'Or in January? My favourite, who I always think is the player of the year, period, is Messi. I just think not only what he does, but the way he does it, is unbelievable. Obviously this season he's had a bit of injury and has been out for a bit, so Ronaldo will probably pip it, but for me, Messi is the geezer.

Do you think we could be seeing the end of the Messi/Ronaldo duopoly? I think Neymar, next year, is really the main contender. Previously it's always been Messi and Ronaldo, it's clearly them, but Neymar's stepping up to the plate. I don't know if he's doing so because Messi has been out of the picture a bit, but I do think he's got the same – or at least showing he will have the same – ability. There's definitely a third contender and it's not just for a moment, he's knocking on that door.

Lemar's latest album 'The Letter' is out now