Brazil won’t feel World Cup pressure: Parreira

Rio de Janeiro, March 20: Hosts Brazil will not be burdened by the pressure of being favourites to win the 2014 World Cup, said assistant coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

In an interview published on Brazil’s football confederation website, Parreira reaffirmed national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s assertion that the team will accept nothing less than victory at the June 12-July 13 event, reports Xinhua.

Parreira said the Selecao’s loss to Uruguay during the last World Cup in Brazil in 1950 remained a sore point for the current squad.

“We were the first country not to win the World Cup as hosts and we are obligated to win it the second time at home,” Parreira said. “This gives us great responsibility but it isn’t affecting us.”

Parreira, who coached Brazil to victory at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, denied concerns over the center-forward and goalkeeping positions.

Striker Fred is still regaining full fitness after missing almost five months with a thigh injury while goalkeeper Julio Cesar last month joined Toronto FC after losing his first-team place at Queens Park Rangers.

“We have a goalkeeper that has been rated the best in the world, the center-backs are among the best as are the full-backs and mid-fielders,” Parreira said.

“Our attackers are on that level too. We have a very strong team that is determined to win the World Cup.”

Brazil has not lost a match since a 0-1 defeat to Switzerland in August last year. Scolari is expected to announce his 23-man World Cup squad May 7.

IANS