Cafu knows a thing or two about FIFA World Cups. The most internationally capped Brazil player of all time, Cafu has featured in four World Cups between 1994 and 2006. He is also the only player to have appeared in three consecutive finals, winning the 1994 and 2002 editions, the latter as captain. So, when the 51-year-old says he cannot ever come to terms with the proposal for a biennial World Cup, one is forced to sit up and take notice.
“No. No. (vehemently shakes his head) I don’t agree with this at all. A World Cup every two years would see it lose all its glamour. I think we should change the name of the competition from World Cup to ‘some small tournament’ if that happens. I think teams will have no expectations, nothing to look forward to,” he said.
Picking his countrymen as the favourites to emerge victorious in Qatar 2022, Cafu went on to name a few other sides who will be up for a fight to the finish. “Brazil, for sure (are going to win the World Cup)! However, Argentina, England, France, and Belgium are also some other strong contenders.”
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A Qatar Legacy Ambassador presently, Cafu feels the Arab world is all set to stage one of the biggest sporting extravaganza there is, next year. “The World Cup in Qatar will be excellent because of a number of factors. You can watch more than one game on the same day. It is also a country where you can enjoy a quality stay.”
Cafu had recently heaped praise on national star Neymar Jr, saying he was technically better than talismans Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. On being asked about Neymar’s decision of hanging up his boots post the quadrennial showpiece, Cafu said, “That is his own decision. We have to respect what he said. It is up to him if he wants to stop playing for Brazil.”
A legendary right-back, Cafu feels it is not an easy position to master. He also picked his favourite right-backs from Brazil. “This position is not easy. However, you can get there if you work hard and dedicatedly train… There are a lot of up-and-coming Brazilian players playing as right-backs. But if you must ask me, Dani Alves has great experience. Then there is Danilo who plays for Juventus. He is young and it is him who I would choose as my favourite,” he signed off.
(The writer is in Qatar at the invitation of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)