Brazil: Old and New
From generations past and present, Sky Sports asks Brazilian stars Fernandinho and Bebeto why they love the World Cup in exclusive interviews as the day of kick-off finally arrives...
By Peter Fraser and Adam Bate
Last Updated: 12/06/14 8:32am
From generations past and present, Bebeto and Fernandinho tell us why they love the World Cup.Brazil are the essence of the World Cup. Having been crowned the greatest football nation on the planet on five occasions, the South American country have an undisputed pedigree for producing some of the best players in history. From all-time stars to a football-mad population the 2014 hosts are a reason why we have such passion for the World Cup. But why do Brazilians themselves love sport's most prestigous tournament? Ahead of Thursday's World Cup opener between Brazil and Croatia, Sky Sports decided to ask an old and new football icon from the Samba kings to gain a full appreciation of the appetite. Bebeto became a global icon in playing in three World Cups from 1990 to 1998, with his best coming in 1994 when the striker, baby-cradling celebration and all, helped fire Brazil to their fourth title. Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, meanwhile, will hope to follow in his compatriot's footsteps this summer after a fine season for his club. Here, we ask Fernandinho and Bebeto why they love the World Cup...
I love the World Cup because..."Everything stops in Brazil to watch a game. The World Cup is contagious for fans. I do not know what it is like in England but, in Brazil, everything stops. People stop. It is about watching the game."
My World Cup hero is..."Brazil's old goalkeeper, Claudio Taffarel, in the 1994 World Cup. He outshone every other goalkeeper. I was a kid at that time and wanted to be a goalkeeper but my dad would not let me!"
The World Cup newcomer I tip to be a top player is..."Neymar. He is the one I would bet on due to his great talent."
If I had to sum up the World Cup in one sentence I would say..."It would be the best experience in my life to play in the World Cup but to also win, because there is no point in not winning."
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