Fernandinho: Neymar will be decisive
- 06 June 2014 07:57
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Less than a week to go until the World Cup kicks off and all eyes turn to Brazil.
The hosts are carrying the hopes of a nation, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's men aiming to claim their sixth title on home soil and erase the memories of finishing as runners-up to Uruguay 64 years ago, when they were defeated in the final in the Maracanã.
But Fernandinho reckons their star man, Neymar, is up to the challenge of emulating Brazilian heroes of the past.
Website Sambafoot explains: “Ronaldo was one of the stars in their 2002 World Cup triumph and the young Barcelona forward will hope to follow in his footsteps.
“Inside Spanish Football quoted Fernandinho, who is confident Neymar will deliver in the tournament that is due to start next Thursday.
“He said: ‘The previous times Brazil has won the World Cup, they had a major player, outstanding.
“‘Brazil have a solid base and a support system surrounding Neymar, who will grow in this competition. I’m sure he’ll be decisive in a few World Cup games.’”
Just XI, you say? Well, Stuart Brennan has managed to whittle it down, and I reckon this team would have a decent chance of going all the way…
Writes Brennan: “Players who played in World Cup finals, but who were playing for someone else at the time, are discounted, which means players like Peter Schmeichel, Bobby Johnstone, Robinho and Sammy McIlroy do not count.
“And it is astonishing to think of some of the great names who never got to ply their trade at finals tournament, like Dave Watson – the most-capped Engand player never to play in one – Welsh ace Roy Paul, Georgi Kinkladze, Bert Trautmann, Dennis Tueart and Mike Summerbee.”
The XI includes seven players from the current squad, including Martin Demichelis, who has forced his way back into the Argentina set-up just in time for the tournament.
Brennan adds: “Martin Demichelis showed enormous strength of character, as well as his defensive ability, to silence the critics and help City win the Premier League title, as well as claiming a place in the Argentina squad after two-and-a-half years in the wilderness. He was first choice for his country in 2010 as Argentina reached the quarter-finals, and even scored against Greece in the group stages.”
The World Cup may be dominating global headlines, but the media will always find room to sneak in some transfer gossip for you to digest over your morning toast.
We’ll begin with a story in Italy claiming AC Milan have targeted Alvaro Negredo as a possible replacement if Mario Balotelli makes the switch back to the Premier League.
The report on ForzaItalianFootball.com reads: “AC Milan are reportedly interested in landing Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo if Mario Balotelli leaves the Rossoneri after the World Cup.
“The Azzurri striker has been linked with a move back to the Premier League after the World Cup as the Rossoneri are considering cashing in on him this summer.
“Sportmediaset report that Milan have a good chance of securing the Spanish striker because of Adriano Galliani’s relationship with his agent.”
Hmm. A few ifs, buts and maybes in that one.
Moving on, and here’s a name you might not have heard linked with City before but then again it is getting difficult to keep a track of these things now.
The stopper currently plies his trade with Brighton and Hove Albion, but recent performances for the Young Lions are said to have attracted attention.
Reports David Wright: “The Seagulls brought Walton to the Amex Stadium last year from Plymouth Argyle, beating a number of Premier League clubs to his signature.
“But now Arsenal and City are planning to bring the youngster to England's top flight.”
As ever, we’ll be first with any confirmed ins or outs this summer right here on mcfc.co.uk.
Until tomorrow, folks…