Brazil feeling the home team World Cup heat

Last updated 15:39 28/03/2014
WORLD CUP WINNER: Brazil's Ronaldo.

Relevant offers


Winston Reid's own goal costs West Ham United a win in English Premier League Arsenal lose ground on leaders after Norwich draw, Liverpool edge Swansea Diego Costa dropped but Chelsea still toothless in goalless draw with Tottenham Football Ferns: Top five performances of last decade in international football Northern Football set up grand final showdown against Mainland Pride Auckland City warm up for Club World Cup with win over Canterbury United Phoenix Reserves lose battle of the cellar dwellers to stay bottom of the table Fine 3-1 win for Team Wellington against combative Waitakere United Nelson Marlborough Falcons beat Youth League leaders Team Wellington Football Ferns captain Abby Erceg says win in Brazil is 'huge step forward' for Kiwis

Ronaldo, who led Brazil to its last World Cup title 12 years ago, says this year's team is under crushing pressure with everyone expecting a sixth title helped by home field advantage.

''The players, when they don't know if they are going to win or lose, by definition, they are under enormous pressure,'' he said, speaking as Brazilian organisers explained ongoing delays in finishing three of 12 stadiums.

The World Cup opens June 12 in Sao Paulo, with that stadium, and others in Curitiba and Cuiaba still incomplete.

Another venue in Porto Alegre was finished, but temporary structures were not finished, fallout from a battle over who paid - Fifa, the local club Internacional or some level of Brazilian government.

''Of course, playing in your own country is an additional responsibility,'' Ronaldo said.

''Brazilian people of course hope that all is prefect with Brazil winning. ... We have a great team, but the pressure is huge. But hasn't it always been very, very important for the Brazilian team as the favourite? So the Brazilian players are just used to this huge pressure.''

A three-time winner of Fifa's player of the year award, Ronaldo was working as an ''ambassador'' for the local organising committee.

He compared Brazil's upcoming World Cup to the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi. He said people were wary of Sochi and were proven wrong.

''There was a lot of suspicion, the entire world was a little suspicious and then we saw it was a great success,'' he said.

''In Brazil we have a small portion of people who are very suspicious, but the World Cup is going to be incredible to show the world our values and our culture.''

Jose Maria Marin, head of the Brazilian Football Confederation, was even more blunt. He was quoted by Sao Paulo newspaper Folha de S.Paulo this week saying ''we'll all go to hell'' if Brazil fails to win the World Cup at home.

He repeated his views again Thursday sitting next to Jerome Valcke, Fifa's top World Cup official.

''What (Brazilian) people really, really expect in the World Cup is to win the championship,'' Marin said.

''So we're still in purgatory. So either we all work together. ... or it's either to hell, or paradise or heaven. I'm confident we'll all go together to heaven.''

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content