Balance key to Brazil World Cup bid: Lucio

Rio De Janeiro, April 22: Former Brazil captain Lucio believes team balance will be key to the Selecao’s chances of winning this year’s World Cup.

The 35-year-old former Bayern Munich and Internazionale defender warned home advantage meant little as Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team aim for Brazil’s sixth World Cup trophy, Xinhua reported.

“We need to have balance and not take too seriously the fact we are favorites and playing at home,” said Lucio, who played in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning team in Japan and South Korea.

“The other teams are also going to have a strong desire to win. We are really strong with lots of different options but it’s a matter of maintaining unity within the group and balance.”

The World Cup will be played in 12 Brazilian cities from June 12 to July 13.

Lucio, who played in each of the past three World Cups, joined Palmeiras in January after an unhappy season at Sao Paulo. “I’ve had a good start at Palmeiras and have been well received by both the club and the fans.”

“My expectations are of the highest order for this team: to win matches and titles.

Palmeiras, eight-time Brazilian Serie A champions, returned to the top-flight in December after being relegated for the second time in their history in 2012.

IANS