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Teko: Neymar is the star of the show

16 June 2014, 12:16

Sao Paulo - Teko Modise tells us how impressed he has been by Neymar after the Brazilian’s great start to the tournament and ponders which teams could put in some surprise performances.

Neymar got the World Cup off to a terrific start when he scored two goals in the World Cup opener last week. He loves the crowd; he is made for playing in front of big crowds. He started playing professional for Santos at the age of 16, so he progressed very nicely to become what he is today. He pushes himself whenever he dons the Brazilian national team jersey.

He can carry the team, and the players around him make him feel he is a special player, a leader of the team. If he doesn’t get injured then this is his World Cup... it will be called “Neymar’s World Cup” like 1986 was “Maradona’s World Cup”.

As hosts Brazil has a much better chance of doing well now than South Africa did in the 2010 World Cup. We were really aiming at making the second round phase while Brazil is looking to win the competition.

We had only four months to prepare – coach Alberto Parreira had to literally start a team from scratch with four months to go whereas this Brazil team has been together for a very long time.

I think that Brazil will go all the way to the final where they will meet Argentina. It is home for them, albeit to varying degrees. They are used to the conditions, the hot humid weather. The Europeans will struggle with this. It is not just hot but it is very humid, much more so than it is in Durban over summer.

Despite this, I’m looking to see some of the smaller countries pull of really big surprises. Belgium are a young team with exciting prospects. The likes of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are likely to problems for many teams. They have players who exposed to the big occasion, such as Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal, Maouroanne Fellaini of Manchester United and Drez Mertens who plays for Napoli, just to name a few.

I believe Ghana will also rise to the occasion. They have a great mix of exciting, hard working young players looking to make a name for themselves and older players who are looking to have their last hurraaah at international level. One is thinking of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and others. Ghana are natural hard workers, they never stop running, Asamoah Gyan will want to make sure that 2010 doesn’t repeat itself.

 - TEAMtalk Media


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