Brazil defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo says the Brazilian team is solid and capable of playing with or without Barcelona star Neymar

 

 

Brazil's Luiz Gustavo said the Brazilian team is solid and capable of playing with or without star Neymar. "I think the team is really well prepared to play with or without Neymar. We have 23 really quality players who can come in and help. It might change our style of play a bit, but it won't mean we play better or worse. So, what makes us strong are these 23 players and, certainly, if some day he [Neymar] is not well or is substituted out, the person who enters will do what he can with his abilities and help us in the best way."

"It's never been about being the main guy, the focus or the centre of attention. The lecture [on team building] was really handy to me, and for sure for the whole team. Because it showed us the national team's trajectory up until now that we have a very collective team, a team that looks to help each other. This has been our biggest strength."

Neymar, the young star striker, is expected to lead Brazil to their record sixth World Cup title, this time on home turf. The tournament opens with Brazil squaring off against Croatia in Sao Paulo's brand new Arena Corinthians on Thursday (June 12). Gustavo, a reserved former forward, said a recent team-building conference has helped the team realize its strengths. He said he is not interested in standing out in the crowd as much as he is in racking up wins from the host nation.

"For my lifestyle, where I am going, I've always been a collective guy. It's never been about being the main guy, the focus or the centre of attention. The lecture [on team building] was really handy to me, and for sure for the whole team. Because it showed us the national team's trajectory up until now that we have a very collective team, a team that looks to help each other. This has been our biggest strength," explained Gustavo.

Brazil will also face Cameroon and Mexico in Group A.

 

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"Brazil Ready to Play 'With or Without Neymar' "