England

Neymar dismisses England's threat

Brazil star Neymar has played down England's chances at the World Cup in 2014.
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RISING STAR

Neymar may be young, but he already has many memorable moments.

Neymar says England are not one of Brazil's main rivals for the 2014 World Cup.

The 21-year-old Santos striker believes Roy Hodgson's side are too reliant on Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, and sees world and European champions Spain and South American rivals Argentina posing a greater threat to the hosts.

"England are a good team with some very good players but I don't look at them as one of our main rivals for the World Cup," said Neymar, one of the most sought-after players in world football.

"Do I think they have the same quality as Spain and Argentina? No. I think maybe they rely on Wayne Rooney.

"Brazil have many players who can win the game and it's the same with Argentina. If Messi is not having a great game, they still have Aguero and Tevez. If Iniesta is having a bad game, Spain have Xavi and Villa. Once you look past Rooney you don't see an obvious player who can win a game for England."

Neymar is likely to start against England in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday as the Brazilians continue their build-up to next year's tournament under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Scolari has recalled three-time world player of the year Ronaldinho to the squad and Neymar is excited by the prospect of playing with the 32-year-old Atletico Mineiro player in a side managed by Scolari.

"The players love having Scolari as coach. We all respect him - but it works two ways," he added. "He is the sort of man that if you show him respect he will show you respect. Already he is coming up with new ideas about how we can improve. He is very clear that only winning the World Cup will do next year.

"I think he made exactly the right decision to being Ronaldinho back. He is not just one of the best players of recent years but one of the best players to ever play the game. For three years he was the best player in the world. He has won everything with Brazil and also during his time at Barcelona - he brings a lot to the team."

Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Paris St Germain have all been linked with a move for Neymar, who is out of contract next year.

However, the player insists that any suggestion he has made a decision about his future is pure speculation.

"Things are written about my future but they are not true," he said. "They can't be true because no decision has been made. I am happy at Santos now and I am not even thinking about leaving. When the time comes, I will consider all offers from big clubs in Europe, but any talk that I have already committed is not true."

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