KEIR RADNEDGE in COSTA DO SAUIPE: Carlos Alberto Torres, Brazil’s World Cup-winning captain in 1970, has warned his fellow countrymen not to run away with over-confidence of a record-extending sixth triumph on home ground next year.
Carlos Alberto, who scored Brazil’s rampaging fourth goal in their 4-1 victory over Italy in the final in Mexico City, is one of the host nation’s ‘World Cup ambassadors’ for next year’s event.
But, from his own experience, he remains all too well aware of the danger of the pressures of fans’ expectations.
He said: “We need to keep our feet on the ground and be realistic. Everyone wants to see us erase the fiasco of 1950 [when Brazil lost the final in Rio to Uruguay] but the fact that the World Cup will be held in Brazil and we have the presence of our fans can be detrimental.
“Even in Mexico in 1970 the pressure was almost too much. In the first minutes of the final we were a disaster but we were level at 1-1 at the end of the half and improved after [coach] Mario Zagallo talked to us very strongly during halftime.
“You can’t say we are the 2014 champions already. That’s not the right approach. We’ve had better national teams than the present team which didn’t win the World Cup.
“Just because the World Cup will be held in Brazil does that mean we will win? Not necessarily. Just because it will be in Brazil and all our supporters will be signing the national anthem does that mean we will win? No.
“We have what it takes to get there . . . but we are not the champions in advance.”
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