KUALA LUMPUR – Former Brazil star defender, Roberto Carlos is highly confident that the football powerhouse can lift the World Cup for a record sixth time at the upcoming Russia edition from June 14 to July 15.
After ending their 2014 edition in fourth place following a humiliating 7-1 defeat to champions Germany in the semifinals on home soil, the former Brazil and Real Madrid legend said it would be right for Brazil to make a comeback to lift the golden trophy again.
“We have a great selection of players, the best players in the world like Neymar (da Silva Santos Junior). We also have a good coach (Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, popularly known as Tite) right now. I think they are doing well, responding well (to the 7-1 defeat).
“What is important is getting back to work, forget about the past, look to the future and get back to winning…Brazil is always a strong team, you cannot count them out. We have won five titles before and we are going to win the sixth one,” the 44-year-old said here, today.
Earlier, AirAsia had announced the 2002 World Cup winner as AirAsia’s new global brand ambassador.
Nicknamed as ‘The Bullet Man’ for his powerful free kicks, including his iconic 35m free kick goal against France in 1997, Carlos predicted that, despite having a ‘easy’ draw in Russia, Brazil might start slow before getting the rhythm.
The world number two Brazil are the favourites to top Group E, after being drawn with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
For the record, Brazil is the most successful team in the World Cup, winning the title for a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002, while Germany and Italy have four a piece.
On the appointment as AirAsia ambassador, Carlos said: “In Brazil we say ‘because we suffer so much, we value football.’ This shows you can succeed no matter where you come from as long as you believe and work hard, and I am thrilled to represent a brand like AirAsia, which prides itself in making dreams come true.”
Meanwhile, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and AirAsia X Co-Group CEO, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, who could not attend the event, said the low cost carrier could not be more proud to have someone like Carlos as its brand ambassador.
“No one embodies the dare to dream spirit like Carlos. From playing on streets of Garca and deciding to be a professional footballer at 12 to the amazing free kick against France and winning the World Cup (in 2002), he has shown that when he wants something, he will see it through to the end,” said Fernandes through a video conference.
Carlos, who had represented Brazil at three World Cup since 1998, before winning the title in 2002 edition hosted by South Korea and Japan, while at club level, he has won four Spanish La Liga titles and UEFA Champions League three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2002 with Real Madrid. – BERNAMA