Neymar: No fear over 'favourites' Spain

29 June 2013 06:16

Brazil star Neymar believes Spain are favourites heading into Sunday's mouth-watering Confederations Cup final showdown, but insists his side must not fear the world and European champions.

Spain go into the clash at the Maracana looking to win the tournament for the first time and add a fresh chapter to what has been an unprecedented period of success over the last few years, which has included back-to-back European Championship titles and a maiden World Cup crown.

Those triumphs have left La Roja at the top of FIFA's world rankings and, despite Brazil boasting home advantage, Neymar reckons Vicente Del Bosque's men hold the upper hand. However, the new Barcelona forward, also has faith in his side's ability. "They (Spain) are the best side in the world and are favourites," the 21-year-old said.

"We must play football and not fear them. We are playing the best team of the world nowadays, but we also have great players in the Brazilian national team. I respect and admire Spain a lot, but our football is nice on the field and we're hopeful and trust one another to play a perfect match on Sunday."

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari echoed those thoughts, telling his side have what it takes to overcome the Spanish.

"We are playing Spain by respecting their quality, but also trying to show our potential and talent," he said. "We have reached the final and we have enough quality to get past them. Spain are a totally integrated team but we'll play with our own style, with the way we've been playing so far."

Both teams have been the stand-out sides of this year's Confederations Cup, with Brazil winning all four of their games so far while Spain were victorious in their three group matches before edging out Italy on a penalty shoot-out in a dramatic semi-final in midweek.

That was a scare for the Spanish, but they remain on course to complete their international trophy collection. Midfielder Andres Iniesta, who was absent through injury as Spain were surprisingly knocked out at the semi-final stage by the United States in 2009, told Cadena Cope: "This is a moment to close a circle of tournaments with the national team."

The Barcelona midfielder knows the difficulties facing his side, though, and - in contrast to the belief of future club colleague Neymar - feels Spain are underdogs for the final. "Brazil are favourites because they are playing at home and I don't know how many thousand people will be behind them," he said.

"We must turn that into a form of motivation for us. There is no bigger challenge than beating Brazil at their home ground. Brazil are a great team and have played a spectacular championship so far. But we have a very good team too, and I have no hesitation in saying we are going for the title."

Source: PA