Brazil player Paulinho believes his side are in much better shape heading into 2018 World Cup in Russia than they were as the host nation four years ago. The five-time world champions suffered an embarrassing 1-7 semifinal defeat to Germany in front of their own fans in Belo Horizonte in 2014.
Paulinhocame off the bench in that match and is one of only four players in Tite’s squad this year in Russia who appeared on that fateful night in Belo Horizonte.
“We have greater confidence. From the way things are going for the Brazil team at the moment, it is clear that confidence is better,” the Barcelona midfielder told reporters on Wednesday at the team’s training base in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
“Brazil are better prepared in a number of ways. That is just part of football — in four years you learn a lot of things.”
“What we have done in these last four years is put the past to one side,” he added. “Now we have another opportunity and I want to do better. That is life. Football is good because it gives you other opportunities very quickly.”
Brazil begin their World Cup campaign with a clash against Switzerland Sunday. Their second Group E game five days later in Saint Petersburg against Costa Rica. They round off the group campaign in Moscow against Serbia on 27 June.