Brazil star Neymar has doubts over England's chances of winning the 2014 World Cup.
The 21-year-old, who will join Barcelona this summer, told The Sun: “I have respect for a lot of the England players as they have achieved great things at their clubs.
“But, as a national team, I don’t look at England and think they are going to be a real threat at the World Cup.
Alongside Brazil, the 21-year-old has marked Germany and Spain as favorites to lift the World Cup but is determined to create history for his nation in front of the home fans.
“We want to win the World Cup in front of our home fans and the two nations I look at as a real threat are Germany and Spain," he commented. “After that it’s a group including Argentina, Holland, Italy and one or two more.
“But England I don’t even think about.”
Brazil are ready to face England this Sunday at the Maracana, which will be the first official fixture to be played at the famous stadium since it was renovated last month.
Neymar added: “It’s a big game for us on Sunday because we want to open the new stadium with a win.
“The most important thing is we impress the coach though. There are only 11 places in the team for the opening game at the World Cup and each player needs to prove to the coach he’s worth being in one of those places.”
Neymar chose Barcelona over Premier League giants including Chelsea and Manchester City, who were believed to be chasing to acquire his signature. The Spanish champions completed the big signing last week which ended in an emotional farewell for Neymar with his boyhood club Santos.
He said: “There was interest from teams in England and Spain, but my family spoke to me about joining a club where you could not just win things but where there’s stability.
“I didn’t want to play for a team that changed its coach every season.”
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://bit.ly/12evFlH
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms