Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva has called on his team-mates to earn their tag of favourites against Japan in the Cologne showdown in the FIFA Confederations Cup on Wednesday night.
After losing 1-0 to Mexico on Sunday, Brazil need a draw to be sure of a place in the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final and Gilberto admits a difficult evening awaits against a Japan side who must win to remain in the competition. "The game will be difficult for us because we need a result in this game to qualify," he told FIFAworldcup.com.
"If we play like we did against Greece then we then of course we will go on to the next stage but although we are favourites we need to play like favourites."
Brazil tore Greece apart in their opening match, winning 3-0, but, Gilberto adds, failed to take their chances against a strong Mexico side.
"We didn't expect to lose but we did expect a tough game against Mexico because they're always difficult opponents for us," he said. "We created good opportunities to score but we didn't. They had fewer opportunities but scored once and that's why they won. Now we have to put right the things we did wrong last time to make sure we qualify."
The Arsenal midfielder added: "I don't know very much about Japan but like other teams, they want to win against Brazil. For some teams it's like winning the World Cup to win against Brazil. We are favourites but we have to make sure of that on the pitch."
A member of Brazil's FIFA World Cup-winning team of 2002, Gilberto has been confined to the bench so far in Germany but simply being here is a bonus for the 28-year-old after he missed seven months of last season with a career-threatening back injury. "I've had to start everything again but I am very happy for that because I can play again, I can do what I love to do," he said. "I am very proud for what I did to recover completely and now I just want to focus on my career again."