'Brazil will feel the heat'

Romario, who played a stellar role in Brazil’s 1994 World Cup win, said the football-mad nation will be desperate to see their team make amends on home turf.

Brazil, favourites to win their sixth World Cup title here, were shocked by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, their second successive loss from the last eight stage.

“The Brazilians are pinning their hopes on the 2014 World Cup,” said Romario, on the sidelines of the unveiling of the Official Emblem of Brazil 2014 here Sunday.

“Winning the title has now become an absolute necessity for us in 2014. And the only pressure that will be on the players will be the pressure to win. It can’t be any other way. The 2014 World Cup is the biggest thing in Brazil, bigger than anything we’ve had since 1950.

“The responsibility is huge for the players and the coaching staff because the World Cup is coming back to Brazil after 64 years. We have to use our skill and be the champions,” he said.

The 44-year-old former striker also hoped that the current crop of players would reach their peak by 2014. “We’ve got a great bunch of kids. By the time 2014 comes, the average age of this generation will be between 24 and 26 and that’s important. But even more important is having a group of top-class players who can really make the difference,” he said.

Romario, who won the Golden Boot in 1994, admitted that Brazil faces similiar issues of crime and public safety like South Africa in the run-up to host the World Cup. 

“There are problems in every country and I can tell you that in the run-up to 2014 the country will be tackling issues affecting many other parts of the world, like crime and public safety. But the country will take all steps to tackle such issues.”

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