Published: Sun, July 08, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Playing ‘favourites’ Brazil a dream for Belgium, says Roberto Martinez

Playing ‘favourites’ Brazil a dream for Belgium, says Roberto Martinez

As has been the case throughout this World Cup, Brazilian forward Neymar will likely garner much of the attention during the match, both for his skills and speed as well as his on-field theatrics.

But Linard hinted that if Martinez takes the Red Devils to their first world title in Russian Federation, he could be allowed to leave for the right price.

If it was a rude ending for the traveling fans of the three powers, they at least got the chance to spend some time in Kazan, an elegant city that must rank among the more surprising secrets Russian Federation has revealed to the world during the tournament.

"I will always remember there was a moment at 0-2 down against Japan that he's the one that is giving a bit of composure, a bit of belief into the group and he's getting everyone to know that we've still got time to get back into the game".

Fernando Hierro was appointed interim boss of La Roja and saw the 2010 world champions knocked out by hosts Russian Federation in the round of 16.

"But we've been working so hard to get ourselves to this occasion".

"We have worked hard over two years for this and we are as ready as we ever can be".

Everything seemed ideal when Neymar's team hosted the 2014 World Cup and their confidence had been boosted, playing in front of their fans.

"The way we work sometimes causes a lot of contact, we slow down the field, the accelerations are higher".

Brazil coach Tite dismissed talk that his team is the favourite to win the match against Belgium, let alone the World Cup.

"The game against Japan gave us a big boost", he said.

"When you are in a World Cup quarterfinal facing Brazil, you don't need extra motivation".

"There is something special about this squad". We've won all our games, everyone has played and we've scored 12 times. But there is no margin for error.

The core of that side remains in place in Russian Federation, where Belgium has won all four of its matches, including coming back from 2-0 down to beat Japan in the round of 16 with a thrilling counterattack in the final seconds of injury time. "[But] I think offensively that we are really strong".

The winners of the clash will face either France or Uruguay in St Petersburg on July 10.

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