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Football | World Cup 2014

'Brazil must improve to win World Cup'

Brazil have a long way to go if they are to add a sixth World Cup victory to their collection on home soil next year, striker Neymar believes.

In an interview with German press agency SID, a subsidiary of AFP, after the 2-1 defeat by England at Wembley, Neymar said the Brazilians needed to improve their team game.

"We tried everything we could, but it wasn't enough," said the 21-year-old, billed as the new Pele.

Brazil have slipped alarmingly down the world rankings in the past two years and are now a lowly 18th.

"As host country we will be under a lot of pressure but maybe our fans can carry us to victory," Neymar added, and picked out Germany and holders Spain as serious contenders in 2014.

His contract at Brazil's FC Santos expires in 2014 and Neymar has said it is his "childhood dream" to eventually play for a European club.

With Pep Guardiola to take charge of Bayern Munich for next season, Neymar spoke enthusiastically about the Bavarian giants.

"Ultimately, all leagues are interesting, including the Bundesliga and especially when I think of Bayern Munich," he said. "That is a big club with players of exceptional quality.

"I can defenitely imagine me at Bayern, there is nothing to say that won't happen."

South America's player of the year for 2011 and 2012 said he has been particularly impressed with Germany midfield star and Bayern's vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"Schweinsteiger is one of the best player I've ever seen," said Neymar.

"These are the basics that make him so strong. His position and his passing game, plus his presence on the field."


Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.


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