London: Football legend Luis Figo says defending champions Spain "don't have the quality" to retain the crown in the upcoming FIFA World Cup, instead he puts his money on hosts Brazil for a record sixth title. "I don't think Spain are going to win this World Cup.
Luis Figo. Pic/ AFP
I do not think they have the quality to do it. It's difficult, but it's not impossible," Figo, one of the best players of his generation, said. The former Ballon d'Or winner and FIFA player of the year believed Brazil will be difficult to stop if they get off to a good start. "I think it helps at home. I know the national coach (Luiz Felipe Scolari) well. I think he is a fantastic coach for that kind of tournament and the country (will) help the team by supporting them.
I think if they start well, it is going to be very, very difficult for the other teams," the 41-year-old Portuguese said. On his country Portugal's chances and the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo, he said, "It's very difficult, because it's a long way to the final and our country has 11 million people and has difficulty choosing the 18-20 players for the World Cup. Portugal depends a lot on Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he wants the Golden Ball."
The former Real Madrid star, who has won several trophies during an illustrious career, is a Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Ambassador. On his association with Laureus, Figo said, "I think through sport we can help people in society to have better opportunities in life. Laureus creates better conditions of life and better opportunities in the future for so many kids. It's just a small kind of action that we can do to minimise what they are suffering or what they are doing in their life and to try to motivate them," he told Laureus in an interview.
Asked about this weekend's Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, he placed his bets on his former team. "I think Real Madrid are going to win. The last time they won it, I was (a player) there, 2002. So this is quite special. I hope that they will win, but you know that in football, in the final anything can happen." PTI AH CM PDS 05