x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Captain is a believer in Brazil

Fracasso. The Portuguese word for failure sits heavily with Brazilian footballers. They do not like to think about it, let alone utter it.

Fracasso. The Portuguese word for failure sits heavily with Brazilian footballers. They do not like to think about it, let alone utter it. As captain of Brazil in a World Cup season, Lucio is aware of the pressure to keep that word out of the match reports his countrymen will be devouring. "No one wants to be the captain that failed," he says. "We have a great chance because we have great players and I will do everything to help us to win."

Brazil, the five-time winners, should book their place in South Africa if they beat Argentina tomorrow. Rivals in qualifying, the teams could also be rivals for the crown when the competition takes place next year. Lucio, 31, remains convinced his side can deliver after their abject failure in 2006, where they meekly surrendered to France in the quarter finals. That hurt the towering Inter Milan defender, who had been a World Cup winner four years earlier in South Korea and Japan.

Now he wants to emulate his coach and idol Dunga, who lifted the trophy as captain in 1994. "Dunga was my hero when he was playing," said Lucio. "He played in midfield, always worked very hard, and won the cup as a captain. "So for him to be the coach and for me to be the captain is a proud moment. I am always learning under him and the team is getting better and better. "We didn't do as well as we hoped in Germany, but we will try to do better in South Africa. It's easier having won it once, but as captain I want to do it again in 2010. I now want to be remembered as someone who won the World Cup as captain.

"It was my dream to win it once, but you always want more. Lifting that cup is just amazing; you cannot really describe it because all your feelings are mixed. You are so happy you cry also." akhan@thenational.ae "