Brazil ahead Neymar trains forward of their opening sport of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in opposition to Serbia. AP
Doha: Brazil are hoping a totally match and firing Neymar, and a well-balanced squad round him, will permit the five-time winners to reside as much as their standing as World Cup favourites in Qatar.
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They start their bid to win a record-extending sixth title on Thursday after they play a harmful Serbia aspect — and the world’s costliest participant is coming into the event in ominous type.
In 2014, Neymar’s World Cup led to agony as he suffered a fractured bone in his again within the quarter-final win over Colombia earlier than the hosts had been humiliated by Germany within the semi-finals, shedding 7-1.
4 years later Neymar raced to recuperate from harm in time for the event in Russia, however Brazil by no means hit the anticipated heights earlier than shedding to Belgium within the final eight.
This time round, a 30-year-old Neymar arrives contemporary from a improbable begin to the season with Paris Saint-Germain during which he has scored 15 targets in 20 video games.
“I feel Neymar is coming into this competitors in nice type,” veteran Brazil captain Thiago Silva, now with Chelsea however a former teammate of Neymar’s in Paris, advised reporters on Wednesday.
“His preparation this time has been completely different. In 2014 he acquired injured simply as he was taking part in so properly, and in 2018 he got here into the event otherwise as a result of he had a critical harm so hadn’t performed a lot.
“This time is completely different and he has not been injured. Neymar is lots higher ready.”
With Brazil additionally going through Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G, Neymar shall be hoping to get the 2 targets he must equal Pele’s all-time file tally of 77 targets for the Selecao.
However the accountability in assault just isn’t all his — coach Tite can even name on a raft of different thrilling attackers, together with Actual Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
“For my part these gamers will assist Neymar as a result of they will divide up the accountability and create area for him,” added Silva, who was the captain in 2014 and continues to be going sturdy aged 38.
‘Stress is inevitable’
This event has already seen a heavily-fancied Argentina lose of their opening match whereas Germany have been overwhelmed too.
However Brazil are hoping for a robust begin and a repeat of what occurred in the one different World Cup to be held in Asia, after they gained their final title in Japan twenty years in the past.
“The environment within the squad is tremendous wholesome. The combination of younger gamers and extra skilled ones creates a terrific connection,” mentioned Silva.
“We’ve got gamers who’re accustomed to the stress, who’re used to the stress of massive video games within the Champions League like Vini and Rodrygo, who’re among the many youngest gamers within the squad however have already proven they are often decisive.”
Silva is among the few survivors of the 2014 workforce that was overwhelmed by the stress of attempting to win the World Cup on dwelling soil.
This time he’s hoping to be a relaxing affect on the remainder of the squad.
“Some issues change over time. I’m now significantly better ready for this second, I’m tremendous calm and tremendous decided,” he mentioned.
“I’m having fun with myself for the time being and I’m keen to point out the very best model of Thiago Silva. On the age of 38 I’m having fun with the most effective spells in my profession.”
Coach Tite, 61, will step down on the finish of the World Cup, no matter occurs in Qatar.
He survived within the job after the quarter-final exit in Russia in 2018 and this time he’s hoping to depart Doha as a world champion.
“As Tostao mentioned, it’s good to dream, so we’re dreaming of getting a very good World Cup and profitable it,” he mentioned, citing one of many greats of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning aspect.
“Just one workforce may be the champions. Different groups need to be too. Stress is inevitable.”
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