Gilberto: World Cup pressure tough on Brazil

Former Arsenal and Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva believes his country will struggle to deal with the pressure of playing on home soil in this summer’s World Cup.

Gilberto has spoken to BT Sport and gave his thoughts on the hosts’ chances at the World Cup, as well as Arsene Wenger’s future as Arsenal manager. “For Brazil this World Cup will be lots of pressure,” he predicted.

Gilberto Silva after Brazil were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup

“We are playing at home and have lost at the last two World Cups,” the 37-year-old added. “We have a very young team who don’t have experience in this kind of competition which is completely different from a friendly match or the Confederations Cup.

“It’s tough because for the last three-and-a-half years we have not been playing qualification matches which give you the strength and understanding of what you will face in the World Cup. With Scolari as manager I think he will let all the players know exactly what he expects of them and how important their performances are to the country and to themselves.”

Gilberto won 93 caps in a nine-year international career, claiming the 2002 World Cup, the 2007 Copa America and Confederations Cups in 2005 and 2009. He spent six years at Arsenal between 2002 and 2008 and, after a spell in Greece, returned to Brazilian football in 2011, first with Gremio and then Atletico Mineiro.

Galo won the Copa Libertadores in 2013 with Gilberto a key part of the side, and he says it is his passion for helping teammates improve that keeps him going. “I love the game and I love to compete,” he continued.

“At Mineiro were I play now it is a good level but even if I were to drop down I would still want to win games and achieve things. I don’t just play for myself, I play to help the team and the other players.

“I especially like to help the youngsters to develop and gain a greater understanding of how the game works. All the time I think I have something to offer I will continue to play.”

For more from Gilberto Silva tune into SportsHUB on Monday 5 May, BT Sport 1 at 6.30pm where he will be speaking to promote the documentary ‘Gilberto Silva’s Road to Rio’, which recounts the Street Child World Cup that took place in Rio last month. BT Sport’s charity, The Supporters Club, backed three charities that sent teams to the tournament. Watch it on 5 May, BT Sport 1 at 10.15pm.

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