Casemiro calls for Brazil to stay grounded amid talk of World Cup favouritism


Brazil have been touted as favourites to end a 20-year World Cup drought this year, but Casemiro says Tite’s team must retain their focus.

Casemiro has highlighted the importance of Brazil remaining grounded after being labelled as one of the favourites to win the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

Brazil last lifted football’s most prestigious trophy 20 years ago when Ronaldo Nazario scored eight goals as Luiz Filipe Scolari’s side triumphed in Japan and South Korea.

However, many tipped Tite’s side to end the drought this year as the Selecao topped the FIFA world rankings ahead of the tournament and saw Neymar and Vinicius Junior start the club’s season in fine form.

Speaking to Manchester United’s media channels, Casemiro said: “There are two sides to it. Of course you can’t hide from the fact that Brazil are favourites, but favorites don’t always win in football, favorites aren’t always champions.”

“We know that there are other national teams that are doing a great job, teams that are also popular. Football speaks for itself these days. We know that other teams are also playing very well.”

“We are aware of our responsibility, we know that we have to respect the teams we play against.

“It’s inevitable when we talk about Brazil, even if we do it with our feet on the ground and with a lot of respect for our opponents.”

With 65 senior caps to his name, Casemiro looks a certainty when Brazil open their Group G campaign against Serbia on November 24 and could be joined by United team-mate Antony.

The winger has scored three goals in his first six Premier League appearances since joining the Red Devils from Ajax and is now hoping to impress for Brazil on the biggest stage of all.

“My first call to the Selecao was this year, so it’s an amazing experience for me,” Antony said when interviewed alongside Casemiro.

“I’ve always dreamed of wearing the Brazil shirt, today I can live this dream leading up to the World Cup.

“Putting on the national jersey, representing my country and my family is very important to me. I hope to wear it more and more and make history with the Brazilian national team.”

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