There is a sense of excitement ever since the Brazilian squad landed here a couple of days back. It may be an Under-17 team, but the expectations are as high from them as from their champion predecessors, thanks to the kind of precedent set by them.
However, the Brazilians haven’t dominated the U-17 age group like their seniors, having won just three titles — two less than Nigeria.
All eyes were on Brazil coach Carlos Amedeu as he stepped in to address the media for the first official presser a day before their practice game against New Zealand before the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena on Wednesday.
Amedeu said winning is not their only aim.
“In Brazil every one is looking forward for titles. As we are working with young players, our aim is to get them to our professional teams. If we can do that by winning competitions, winning trophies — of course — it will always be a positive for us,” said Amedeu.
However, Amedeu is not willing to pick any favourties to win the tournament. “I look at this World Cup as a World Cup of equality. All the teams of Europe are very strong, including Spain and England. The South American teams are strong along with Mexico and the United States. African teams have always done well in age group tournaments.”
Brazil are slotted to play in Group D with Niger, Spain and DPR Korea. Amedeu said the pool is strong enough.
“Talking about our group it’s a very strong group with South American Champions (Brazil), European champions (Spain), the national team of Niger which is strong in age group and DPR Korea about which it is not easy to get information,” he said.
The star attraction for Brazil would be their new Real Madrid-signing Vinicius Jr. However, the youngster, who is currently playing for Flamingo, will not be available for the practice match.
“Vinicius is our main player. Since the Under-15 level he has caught the attention all over the world. He has had a transfer. He was asked to come to this competition and he wants to come and is proud to represent the country. He will be here after his final national competition (for his club Flamingo).
While Brazilian football is synonymous with dribbling, Amedeu said a few more qualities. “Our defence system starts with our first four and that’s why we have a solid defence. People look to Brazil and always try to find players who score or dribble but we have many other qualities,” he said.