Brazil favorites for 2014 World Cup for a dozen strong reasons
Brazil appears to be hot-favorites at the 2014 World Cup not only because the tournament will be on their turf and they just recently defeated Spain in the final to clinch the Confederations Cup, but because they have a deeply talented squad. Neymar voiced similar statements, whilst suggesting that the Selecao could stun the best opposition in the world.
After picking up a 3-1 victory over Portugal, the young Brazilian forward told Folha de Sao Paolo that Brazil had a surplus of talent, so much that it had become tough for manager Luiz Felipe Scolari to finalize a squad.
“We were joking around with (goalkeeper) Julio Cesar and already congratulating him (for being guaranteed a spot on the World Cup team),” Neymar said. “I think everyone is on the right path, but we know that only 23 will be chosen, unhappily it can’t be more. We have so many good players who deserve to be in the World Cup. If it were possible, 50 players would be called up.”
Earlier this week Scolari revealed that he had already picked out around 70% to 80% of the team he was going to use in the World Cup. Scolari, who led Brazil to World Cup glory in 2002, also revealed that Julio Cesar was the No. 1 choice between the sticks for Brazil.
“In the games against Australia and then again today I've seen there are one or two players I can add to the 17 or 18 I already have on my list,” Scolari told The Telegraph.
Portugal dearly missed the services of Cristiano Ronaldo. In the absence of the Real Madrid star, Neymar stole away the show. The Barcelona forward setup one of the goals and scored the rest of the two.
“He has been playing very well for three, four years,” Scolari said, whilst using a translator in his post-match conference. “Only once in every 15 or 20 games does he not play what he knows how to do. But normally, Neymar is this.”
Ronaldo, who is Portugal’s second-highest goalscorer after a hat-trick against Northern Ireland, was absent because of tendinitis. The team’s doctor Henrique Jones revealed that Ronaldo played through pain against Northern Ireland.
“Naturally, he has a great influence on the way we play. But we didn't lose this game due to his absence,” Portugal coach Paulo Bento said after the game.