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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Brazil top bet, Germany very dangerous: Alvito

Story: CHARLES | D’SOUZA | 13th June 2018, 02:12 Hrs



MARGAO  

Former India and East Bengal attacking midfielder Alvito D’Cunha believes that Brazil is the favourite to win the FIFA World Cup in Russia commencing from July 14. 

“Brazil worldwide is famous for soccer and that image is not misplaced when one looks at their stupendous performance in the World Cup. The only team to appear in each edition, Brazil epitomises the Jogo Bonito or the beautiful game,” the former East Bengal team manager told the Goan Everyday.  

D’Cunha, who won eleven titles in 14 seasons for the Red and Gold brigade, also praised the 56-year-old Tite, calling the Brazil manager “intelligent and humble”. “Tite has his eyes firmly focussed on the goal and has already brought about considerable changes in the squad. They are now more about organisation and flair,” D’Cunha -- who played for India from 2001 to 2006 -- added.  

“For any international squad, it is about thinking about the team more than they think about themselves,”Alvito said. “If you want to go far in any tournament, you will have difficult periods... That is when you find the strength of the group, the respect for each other which you need.”  

The World Cup qualifiers weren’t at all smooth sailing for Argentina, but they will be the team to watch out for in Russia along with England and Belgium, feels D’Cunha. “But one needs to be careful about reigning champions Germany as well,” D’Cunha emphasised. “Well, Germany is always Germany. You can never keep them out… So, it won’t be surprising at all if they win it again this time. Joachim Loew has changed the entire style of German football since he took over from Jurgen Klinsmann. Germany’s success also has a lot to do with Loew’s inclusion of German-origin players from outside the country in the squad, like Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira,” 

D’Cunha opined.  

On surprise elements at the World Cup, the Goan master said: “The World Cup always throws up a few less-heralded players into the spotlight. For example, guys like (Italian) ‘Toto’ Schillaci (1990 WC Golden Boot), (Croatian) Davor Suker (1998 WC Golden Boot) and James Rodriguez became big names after their World Cup performances. I expect to see a few more underdog stars to emerge this time around,” D’Cunha signed off.