Brazil winger Raphinha says he does not see the favourites’ tag as “pressure” ahead of the World Cup, as the Selecao look to end their two-decade wait for the title, Njenje Media News reports.
Tite’s side head to Qatar 2022 in search of a first triumph in the competition since victory at Korea/Japan 2002, having gone closest with a third-place finish on home soil in 2014 since.
Despite defeat in the Copa America to Argentina last year, Brazil enter the tournament among the frontrunners, with hopes of bringing a close to their drought.
Barcelona man Raphinha is among the players hoping to make a difference for the nation, but he says being pegged as potential favourites does not faze him.
“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,” he told the Blaugrana’s website.
“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 that they play for. The demand of the fans is normal because we are a high-quality team, with big names.”
Brazil are the most successful nation in #FIFAWorldCup history.
How far will Brazil go during #Qatar2022?
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 13, 2022
Raphinha has racked up 11 caps with Brazil since making his debut while at Leeds United last season, and made the switch to Barca ahead of this season.
It has not been an easy start however, with a Blaugrana team studded with major names slipping out of the Champions League for the second campaign running at the group stage.
The 25-year-old feels he is still bedding into his new surroundings, adding: “I still see myself in a period of adaptation to the club, I think I’m at a time where it has been quite complicated, especially because of my statistics and because of the way I play.”
Brazil kick off their World Cup campaign against Serbia on November 24, before further encounters with Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.