Final week Brazil legend Cafu spent a jam-packed 48 hours in Saint Petersburg, exploring the town. He carried the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 trophy onto the pitch of the brand new Saint Petersburg Stadium as a part of the festivities marking 100 days to the beginning of the Match of Champions in Russia. Cafu isn’t solely a two-time FIFA World Cup™ winner, he additionally lifted the 1997 Confederations Cup trophy, so he’s actually entitled to carry the trophy in his palms.

Throughout his go to, Cafu took trip to talk with in regards to the approaching pageant of soccer in Russia, one of the best moments from his profession and Brazil’s expertise of organising worldwide FIFA tournaments. What are your recollections of Brazil’s preparations for the Confederations Cup in 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Was there quite a lot of pleasure?*
Cafu: *We took the preparations for the Confederations Cup very significantly. It was necessary to grasp how succesful we have been of placing on such a large-scale occasion. There was an enormous buzz within the nation. There are fewer stadiums in use on the Confederations Cup in comparison with the World Cup, however the venues that hosted the match on that event proved they have been totally ready for the World Cup, and this made our job simpler. The match turned out to be necessary for the nationwide crew as properly: within the build-up to the Confederations Cup, the crew was experiencing a scarcity of belief from some supporters. The trophy we received helped unite everybody across the Seleção.

You could have visited Moscow and Saint Petersburg on plenty of events. Do you keep in mind the primary time you performed in Russia?
It was chilly! However I am at all times chilly in Russia, so nothing uncommon there. I had been to Russia earlier than, so I knew what to anticipate. My first match right here was a pleasant between Russia and Brazil in 1996 in Moscow. It was a very good sport; I do not keep in mind all the main points because it was so way back, however I do recall we performed out a 2-2 draw. For me, Russia is initially a rustic with a wealthy and attention-grabbing historical past. My second affiliation is snow!

Brazil have received probably the most Confederations Cup titles in historical past however won’t be competing this summer season in Russia. Who’re the favourites in your absence?
I feel the ultimate shall be Russia vs Germany. I’ve named Russia as one of many favourites as a result of the host nation at all times performs extraordinarily properly at these tournaments, in entrance of their very own followers and swept alongside by a surge of optimism on all sides. Despite the fact that some Russian supporters do not have quite a lot of religion within the success of their nationwide crew proper now, it isn’t that necessary. The Confederations Cup is definitely the right alternative to beat any lack of belief and show that the *Sbornaya *will produce worthy shows at each the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

You performed on the Confederations Cup 1997 in Saudi Arabia. What are your abiding recollections of that match? Brazil had an exceptional line-up again then, probably even higher than at a number of World Cups.
And that is why we received, proper? How may we not win with such stars in our crew? The factor I keep in mind most from that match was that all of us shaved our heads after successful it, as we had agreed earlier than the competitors that is what we might do if we received. All of us went round bald afterwards!

You had gamers like Romario, Ronaldo and Rivaldo. Was this the strongest entrance three in Brazil’s historical past, do you suppose?
We had so many superb forwards! It’s totally troublesome to match them. Each crew that received World Cups or the Confederations Cup featured excellent gamers in assault. Through the 1990s, in fact, these three have been the easiest.

You maintain the document for probably the most appearances in your nation, and by a ways. How did you handle to realize this in a crew the place competitors for locations is arguably the hardest on the planet?
I feel that is comprehensible as a result of nobody has performed for Brazil over such an extended time period as me – 16 years! I feel it is purely right down to strength of mind, my devotion to soccer and the trouble I put in throughout all this time.

The 2 greatest triumphs in your profession have been successful the World Cup in 1994 and 2002. What do you keep in mind from these finals?
Each have been very emotional however extraordinarily totally different by way of the accountability I had. I used to be enjoying in my first FIFA World Cup Remaining at USA 1994. I used to be younger and it was my first likelihood to get my palms on crucial trophy there’s for any footballer. I used to be prepared for this, had labored very exhausting, however I began on the bench on that event. Nevertheless, in 2002 I had the colossal accountability of a captain main his crew to the ultimate. I used to be nervous each instances, however it was utterly totally different.

As captain, did you give a speech to your team-mates earlier than the ultimate towards Germany?
I did not say something apart from I normally do. On the best way to the ultimate, we had performed six matches and obtained six victories. I simply instructed them that they needn’t do something apart from regular. Why change something when it is working? Why act in a different way in a remaining for those who’ve received all of your earlier video games? You would possibly get the thought that it is a remaining and I must say one thing particular to get everybody motivated, however how may they’ve made all of it the best way to the ultimate in the event that they weren’t motivated?

It’s unlikely your look document shall be damaged anytime quickly, however Pele’s document for targets scored is underneath menace. Can Neymar overtake him?
All information exist solely to be crushed. In fact, Neymar has obtained it in him. He is younger and has time on his facet. If he continues enjoying as he’s now, then there’s each risk he’ll.

What recommendation would you give to the organisers of the Confederations Cup and World Cup in Russia, in addition to Russian soccer followers, in order that these tournaments are even higher than in Brazil?
Above all else, crucial factor is perception. You should consider in yourselves extra, in your nationwide crew and their possibilities of victory. Consider that Russia can host tournaments on the highest stage. The primary factor is to consider, after which all the pieces will work out.


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