Brazil’s World Cup-winning captain Cafu reckons the national team don’t need Neymar to win the 2019 Copa America tournament.
Neymar sustained ankle damage during Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Qatar in Brasília on June 6. The injury occurred following Richarlison’s 23-minute opener, but didn’t appear to result from any physical contact.
Brazil’s medical team then carried off the tearful Paris Saint-Germain striker, with the Brazilian football federation confirming he will miss the entire Copa America. They’ve since called-up Chelsea winger Willian to replace Neymar in the 23-man squad.
As a two-time Copa America winner himself, though, Cafu knows all about the tournament and how to win it.
And the 49-year-old gave Brazil fans a reassuring bit of news by claiming that glory on home soil this summer remains a strong possibility without star forward Neymar leading the charge.
“Brazil loses a great player, one of the most important in the national team, which changes things tactically,” said Cafu, according to Sport.
“Tite will have to build the team without him, but I believe that this will not prevent the selection of a team to play great games and that Brazil can win the title.
“I think it’s going to be a different kind of Copa America than any other, with big teams.”
Brazil will kick-off the Copa America by hosting Bolivia for the opening game of the tournament on June 15 in Sao Paulo. The match will begin at 02:30 AM (CET).
The Selecao will then meet Venezuela and Peru in their two other Group A games as look to avoid another group stage exit from the one they suffered last time out in 2016.