‘Filipe can go to World Cup’

Filipe Luis has been backed for a place in the Brazil squad at the World Cup by a former Brazil international left-back.

Junior, part of the Brazil team in the 1982 tournament, has told AS that the Atletico Madrid defender is sure to be under consideration from national team Coach Felipe Scolari.

He added that while Filipe has had a chance in the Brazil team before, he is a much better player now.

“Felipe is at a very high level. I’ve seen him recently and his performances have been very good,” Junior said.

“I think the level he is showing now is not the one we saw in his last appearances with the national team.

“He didn’t take his chance but things have changed.

“Scolari is not unfair and he certainly already has eyes on Filipe. I think he has to be among the options. Everyone is watching him.

“I think he probably will go to the World Cup. But it’s worth mentioning that performances are relative.

“There are many that could go to the World Cup. Filipe has to maintain his level in the important games that capture attention.”

Filipe’s compatriot, Miranda, is another Atletico player who has been put forward as part of the Brazil squad. Junior feels that while Miranda is good enough for the team, the competition at centre-back is fierce.

“Miranda is also an option but there aren’t any vacancies with Thiago Silva and David Luiz,” Junior said.

“Dante’s there too. Miranda must fight for another spot. It’s possible.”

Junior also added his voice to the chorus of praise for Atletico, insisting that they are much more than a defensively-sound unit.

“Atletico are the big surprise in Europe but not only for their defence,” he said.

“It is a balanced team. [Diego Simeone’s] style isn’t as Italian as many people might think.

“In Italy, they play only on the counter-attack but Atletico aren’t that.

“They read matches, take the initiative when required and, above all, have a great impetus to win the ball back.

“That pressure is beautifully crafted by Simeoene. But it isn’t a team that is simply about defence.”

Tags 2014 World Cup Brazil Filipe Luis Miranda