Lucio: We need more commitment
© AFP

Brazil captain Lucio has demanded more commitment from his team-mates as the reigning champions look to avoid a potentially embarrassing early exit from the Copa America when they face Ecuador tomorrow.

Brazil, champions in four of the last five Copa America tournaments, have drawn their opening two matches in Group A, being held 0-0 by Venezuela first up and then salvaging a 2-2 tie with Paraguay on Saturday thanks to an 89th-minute equaliser from Fred.

That has left Mano Menezes' side level on two points with Paraguay, two adrift of leaders Venezuela and one above Ecuador heading into the final round of group matches - where a defeat could possibly spell the end of Brazil's tournament.

In a bid to avoid that situation, Lucio has issued a rallying call to his colleagues, saying: "You don't win games with your name or with the shirt, you win games with commitment. As well as having talent and quality you need to put in something more.

"The badge that we wear on the front of the shirt is more important than the name on our backs. We are representing a country, our country. We are all putting aside our holidays and being with our families. We have to have seriousness and commitment."

You don't win games with your name or with the shirt, you win games with commitment.
Lucio, Brazil captain

"We are a team, not two or three players that are going to make the difference. The main thing is the strength of the team and to have one objective, which is to win. The players have to show why they are in the national team. Everyone knows what they have to do and the responsibility they have."

Nevertheless, the Inter Milan defender remains confident Brazil can reach the quarter-finals, adding: "It is still up to ourselves. We depend on our football."

Ecuador are also staring at an early exit having drawn with Paraguay and lost to Venezuela, leaving them propping up the Group A standings. Ecuador were without star winger Antonio Valencia for the Venezuela match after he suffered an injury in the Paraguay game, and the Manchester United man looks set to be missing again tomorrow. "The injury, unfortunately, won't let him be fully fit. The best thing for him is not to play," said Ecuador doctor Patricio Maldonado.

Despite that potential setback though, midfielder Segundo Castillo remains in determined mood ahead of tomorrow's encounter, saying: "All of us will give it everything in this game. Brazil are favourites in each match. Both teams are in need of winning. Brazil want to progress. We want to progress too. We must do a great job."