In preparation to face Croatia on Friday (9), in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Qatar, striker Vinicius Junior dismisses the favoritism of the Brazilian team against the next opponent.
“In this World Cup there are no favorites, and Croatia reached the final in the last World Cup. So, there is no easy game anymore. Playing against Croatia, with Luka Modric, who recently won the Golden Ball, is complicated. But we are aware that we have to go in there and change what has happened in the last few years. We want to win the quarterfinals and reach the semi-finals. It’s one step at a time,” said the forward.
Brazil has not beaten a European team in the knockout stage since the 2002 World Cup (Japan and South Korea), when won their fifth championship. On that occasion, the Brazilian team beat Belgium, England, and Turkey, and beat Germany in the final.
Vini was asked how he felt sharing the leading role with Neymar:
“I believe that we have 26 players: if each one shares the responsibility, it is not a burden for anyone. Of course the players who play more will have more responsibility. Neymar doesn’t run away and I am not afraid of that responsibility either,” he said.
The striker also spoke of the need for the national team to continue evolving in the tournament. And that if it depends on the group’s will to score goals, the country will see more dancing during the celebrations.
“The goal is the most important moment in soccer: not only are we happy, but now a whole country is happy for us. People like to complain when they see other people happy, and Brazilians are always very happy, so we will always affect a lot”, concluded the number 20.
For the clash with Croatia, left-back Alex Sandro is back at the team’s disposal after recovering from a hip injury. What has not yet been defined is whether he returns as a starter or starts on the bench.
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