Neymar has said he is confident of a ”very special” World Cup with Brazil while snubbing England from his list of tournament favourites.
- Neymar talks up Brazil’s chances
- Lists Argentina among main rivals
- Says England have outside chance
WHAT HAPPENED? Speaking ahead of the Selecao’s World Cup campaign in Qatar, Neymar has talked up their chances of a sixth global crown. The 30-year-old has also discussed who he thinks will be Brazil’s main rivals, and his list does not include 2020 finalists England.
WHAT HE SAID: ”The ones I played in are special for me, one of them because Brazil hosted and the other one because it was my second World Cup. And I believe this one will also be very special,” Neymar said in an interview with The Guardian. ”The World Cup is full of surprises. You get teams that unexpectedly get very far even in the competition even if many don’t believe in them. But I believe the favourites are Argentina, Germany, Spain and France. I think those four along with Brazil are fully capable of reaching the final.”
Pressed on England’s chances of competing for the trophy, Neymar replied: ”I really forgot about England but obviously they have a chance!”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Neymar’s 2014 tournament in his home country ended in tears as a serious back injury suffered in the quarter-final brought his campaign to an end. Now 30, he is likely at the peak of his powers and leads a Brazil side that many feel are capable of winning the prize once again.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR NEYMAR? The Brazilian kicks off his World Cup with the Selecao next week against Serbia in Group G.