Legendary footballer Cafu believes Brazil are no longer a one-player side, relying heavily on Neymar, and have it in them to win a record sixth World Cup title in Qatar. The record five-time winners are yet to lift the World Cup trophy since they defeated Germany 2-0 in the 2002 final. Since then it has been European dominance in the mega showpiece. “Now Brazil isn’t dependent on Neymar especially this year because there are several players like Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta,” the two-time World Cup winner told reporters on the sidelines of his four-day sojourn in India.
“Those players are also capable of winning the Cup for Brazil and this year the side is much different but four years ago, it was all Neymar. If this question was asked to me four years back then I would have agreed that Brazil was very much dependent (on Neymar).” Brazil are clubbed with Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G. The top-two teams will advance to the last-16.
The quadrennial showpiece kicks off on November 20 when hosts Qatar take on Ecuador.
Brazil will open their campaign with a match against Serbia at the Lusail Stadium on November 24.
The desert heat in May-June had forced the organisers to push back the tournament to November-December for the first time ever.
“Normally the World Cup starts in June, but this year it’s going to start in November. It’s also an advantage for some players because normally when the league used to stop then World Cup starts so players can resume with their training and it’ll be a big boost for their national team.
“It’s going to be attractive to have the World Cup in November as in June the players are more tired and now since the league has started the players are fresh and can play well.
“I hope Brazil would do well in this World Cup and win it.” One of the all time great fullbacks, Cafu feels ‘sad’ that the quality in defence is missing these days.
“I’m very happy to have played with Maldini and Nesta. But I am very sad that we cannot see any good full backs nowadays, probably because of the lack of quality. But I’m very happy to have played alongside all these big names.” Cafu will play an ‘All Star’ exhibition match along with Indian tennis legend Leander Paes and hold football clinics at Mohammedan Sporting on Saturday.
Excited to see the football craze in the country, Cafu hoped India would get to play in the World Cup one day.
“I would be very excited to see India playing in the World Cup and since I have come to India now, I wish India get to play in the World Cup,” he concluded.
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