Qatar World Cup 2022: 'Brazil is always a contender for the WC, no pressure' - Raphinha
FIFA World Cup 2022: Brazil has travelled to Qatar to bid for its sixth World Cup title, having last won in 2002. Meanwhile, Raphina has stated that the side is under no pressure and is always a favourite in the tournament.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 gets underway in Qatar on Sunday. Record five-time former champion Brazil would be competing again and bidding to win its sixth, having last won it in 2002. Like every previous edition, the Seleção Canarinha would again enter the event as a firm favourite. While many feel that the 'favourite' tag leads to pressure, winger Raphinha, who plays for Spanish giants Barcelona, thinks it is never a pressure for Brazil, as it is always a favourite in the tournament. The Seleção Canarinha lost to arch-rival Argentina in Copa America last year. With the wounds of the defeat still fresh, it is considered the frontrunner, ahead of the Albicelestes.
Interacting with Barcelona, Raphinha noted, "I'm ready for the World Cup, and I'm working hard to get there as good as I possibly can, both physically and mentally. The atmosphere is that of a winning national team, ambitious and wanting to win the title. There's a good vibe among the whole team."
"I don't see it as pressure. A team like Brazil is always a contender for the World Cup or any other title they play for. The fans' demand is normal because we are a high-quality team with big names," added Raphinha. Since making his debut for Leeds United in 2020, he was called up for the Seleção Canarinha last year and has since played 11 contests, scoring five goals.
Having joined the Catalans this summer, Raphinha has had an unsettled start, scoring just a couple in 18 games across competitions, besides exiting the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and entering the UEFA Europa League (UEL). Commenting on his Barca stint so far, the Brazilians remarked that he is still getting used to playing for the club.
"I still see myself in a period of adaptation to the club. I think I'm at a time when it has been quite complicated, especially because of my statistics and how I play," confessed Raphinha. Brazil gets its WC stint underway against Group G's Serbia on November 24, followed by Switzerland and Cameroon.