Former Brazil international Roberto Carlos has called on the senior members of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s squad to take some of the pressure off Neymar.
The 22-year-old Barcelona forward has already notched 27 goals in 46 appearances for his country and is seen by many as the key to Brazil achieving its sixth world title, and the team's first on home soil, when World Cup 2014 kicks off this June.
But 40-year-old former Real Madrid fullback Carlos has urged fans not to heap too much pressure on Neymar, who is just over halfway through his first season in European football.
“I believe that 2014 will not be the World Cup of Neymar,” Roberto Carlos told Metro Jornal. “He is still young. Brazil have other players who must take responsibility before him.
“I know he will play well, but he should not be pushed so much at this level because he is newly arrived in Europe. Others have to take the pressure off him.”
Carlos was part of the squad that Scolari led to the 2002 World Cup and went on to say that he believes his former coach has all the tools to take his place alongside Italian Vittorio Pozzo (1934, 1938) as the only the second coach to win the competition on two separate occasions.
"Brazil always has great quality. Scolari arrived and managed to impose a character and style on the team," he said. “He knows the players, knows what it takes to be champion. The ‘family’ is working with him and the players understand that. These are very important details to have a good World Cup.”
The Selecao continue their preparations for the tournament on March 5 when they take on South Afica in Johannesburg on the next leg of the Gillette Brasil Global Tour.
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