Brazil look as exciting as they have done in the last four World Cups. Their 2006 side looked set to be one of the most entertaining of the 21st century, but eventually fell to a Zinedine Zidane-inspired France. Following a scintillating 6-1 win over South Korea, there is hope that the Selecao can deliver on their talent this time. Yet one of their former stars believes that Brazil is not feeling the same passion it usually does.
Speaking on BeIN Sports for their coverage of Qatar, Ricardo Kaka has revealed that not everyone in his home country is feeling World Cup fever.
“It is strange to say this, but many Brazilians do not support Brazil. It happens sometimes. If you see Ronaldo walking around here, you’ll say ‘wow’, he’s got something different here. In Brazil, it’s just a fat man walking down the street.”
“Of course, many Brazilians love Ronaldo. I love Ronaldo, but the way he is respected in Brazil and abroad is different, I see more respect for him outside the country than there.”
Marca carried his comments and no doubt this will come as a surprise to many outside of South America. He also related his point to Neymar Junior, explaining the Paris Saint-Germain forward was not as popular as he once was.
“Right now, a lot of people in Brazil are talking about Neymar, but in a negative way. Maybe it’s because of politics, but Brazilians sometimes don’t recognise our own talents.”
Neymar released several rallying calls for disgraced former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in recent elections, a vote that sewed a deep divide in Brazilian society. Even within the dressing room, Richarlison has expressed his opposition to Bolsonaro, while Dani Alves backed the far-right candidate too.