Brazil needs to improve: Neymar

Feb 08, 2013, 09:11 IST | AFP

Brazil have a long way to go if they are to add a sixth World Cup victory to their collection on home soil next year, striker Neymar believes

In an interview with German press agency SID, a subsidiary of AFP, the day after the 2-1 defeat by England at Wembley, Neymar said the Brazilians needed to improve their team game.

“We tried everything we could but it wasn’t enough,” the 21-year-old, billed as the new Pele, said yesterday.

Neymar. pics/AFP

Brazil have slipped alarmingly down the world rankings in the past two years and are now a lowly 18th.

“As host country we will be under a lot of pressure but maybe our fans can carry us to victory,” Neymar added, and picked out Germany and holders Spain as serious contenders in 2014.

England beat Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday to end a 23-year wait for victory over the five-time world champions and consign Luiz Felipe Scolari to defeat in the first game of his second spell as Brazil coach.

Supersaver joe! England ’keeper Joe Hart (right) makes a save as Brazil’s Ronaldinho tries to score off a rebound after missing a penalty in London on Wednesday

On a chilly Wembley night that saw Ashley Cole win his 100th England cap, home goalkeeper Joe Hart saved an early penalty from the recalled Ronaldinho, before Wayne Rooney put Roy Hodgson’s side ahead. An error from Gary Cahill allowed half-time substitute Fred to equalise for Brazil early in the second half, but Cahill’s Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard gave England victory with a smartly taken goal on the hour.

The friendly game marked the start of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

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