Neymar says Brazil are treating all of their friendly matches like World Cup finals
Barcelona striker Neymar says Brazil are treating all of their friendly matches like World Cup finals.
Last Updated: 15/11/13 3:53pm
Barcelona striker Neymar says Brazil are treating all of their friendly matches like World Cup finals ahead of next summer's showpiece as the host nation look to get in prime condition going into the tournament.
Having not had to go through qualifying to secure their spot in the World Cup, Brazil could find themselves short of competitive action heading into their opening match.
The most recent match they played which had something significant riding on it was at the Confederations Cup in June when they beat world champions Spain 3-0 in the final.
Between that clash and the World Cup, Luiz Felipe Scolari's men will have to make do with a series of friendly matches to hone their competitive edge, which is why the five-time world champions are taking each of them very seriously.
Neymar said ahead of Saturday's encounter with Honduras in Miami: "We're playing all the friendlies as if they were the final of the World Cup. For everyone it's like a cup final, we always play to win.
"The aim is to win the World Cup. We know that the pressure is very big, that we're practically obliged to win it, but we also know that it is difficult and we are working hard to try and achieve our dream."
AC Milan striker Robinho is certainly not taking any chance to impress Scolari lightly as he tries to earn a place in Brazil's World Cup squad.
He said: "There are only a few games left ahead of the World Cup. Playing in the tournament is my main objective so I have to face every match as if it's the last one. Now, we have to play Honduras and I have a deep respect for them.
Brazil will be without captain Thiago Silva for this weekend's match.
Even though the Paris St Germain defender has recovered from the injury which sidelined him for six weeks, Scolari has opted to keep him under wraps until next Tuesday's friendly with Chile.
Chelsea forward Willian, who was called up after Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa opted to commit his international future to Spain, is set to start against Honduras, though.
Honduras will also be involved at next summer's World Cup after finishing third in the CONCACAF qualifying section.
They are now looking at Saturday's friendly at the Sun Life Stadium as a chance to show what they can do against one of world football's superpowers.
Coach Luis Fernando Suarez said: "We're aware of the difficulties of playing an opponent with such a high pedigree, but we're pleased to be able to do it because it's not a chance that comes around very often and this is a good time to show our football and celebrate our qualification.
"It's a game for everyone to enjoy."
Long-serving goalkeeper Noel Valladares added: "These are the games that I believe that fans, the mass media, everybody, wants to be played and we, the players, are very motivated and really pleased about playing this game. We believe we're going to have a good performance."