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 the Selecao achieving their sixth world title, and their first on home soil, when World Cup 2014 kicks off this June.
But Roberto 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,” 40-year-old former Real Madrid full-back 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.”
Roberto Carlos was part of the squad that Felipao led to the 2002 World Cup and went on to say that he believes his former boss has all the tools to become the first man coach Italian Vittorio Pozzo (1934, 1938) to win the competition on two separate occasions.
"Brazil always has great quality," the ex-Inter man enthused. "[But then] Scolari arrived and managed to impose a character and style on the team.
“He knows the players, knows what it takes to be champions. 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 this summer's 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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