Casemiro calls on anxious Brazil to be strong

Casemiro has called on Brazil to remain “strong mentally” as they attempt to cope with the pressure of delivering on home soil in the Copa America.

The last time Brazil hosted a major tournament came in the 2014 World Cup, where they crashed out of the semi-finals in a 7-1 defeat to eventual winners Germany in front of their home fans.

Now, the Selecao will be out for redemption five years later this summer in the Copa America. They will also have a score to settle in the competition after suffering a group stage exit in 2016.

And Brazil’s wait for a ninth Copa America title has now reached 12 years. Therefore, Tite’s men will be under immense pressure to deliver for their Group A opener against Bolivia on Saturday.

“There is anxiety, it’s normal, even more so at the start of the tournament like it is for us,” said Casemiro, according to Marca.

“We have to be strong mentally like the boss always asks us to be.

“For us Brazilians, every game is important. It’s been a long time since we won a trophy but even friendlies are important to us.”

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Casemiro added: “It’s a dream to play in a tournament like this in Brazil. We have to transmit this on the pitch and earn the support of the people.”

Although Brazil have suffered a massive blow in the loss of Neymar because of an ankle injury. The Paris Saint-Germain star suffered the injury in a 2-0 friendly win over Qatar in Brasília on June 6.

Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo will also be absent on Saturday following his injury in a  7-0 friendly win over Honduras last weekend.

“Brazil are favourites at any tournament,” said Casemiro.

“The work has been good, I can say that as I was one of the first ones to arrive.

“We’re obliged to play well and win. Even though Neymar, our star, isn’t here, we’re a very strong team.”

Brazil’s Group A opener against Bolivia will take place in Sao Paulo, with kick-off set for 02:30 AM (CET).

BRASILIA, BRAZIL – JUNE 05: Casemiro (L) of Brazil and Almoez Ali Abdulla of Qatar compete for the ball during the International Friendly Match between Brazil and Qatar at Mane Garrincha Stadium on June 5, 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)


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