If Robinho could have picked a team for Brazil to meet in the round of last 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ it would surely have been Chile.
The striker, who was one of his country's top performers in their opening two group games before being rested for the draw with Portugal, is aware that the five-times champions have won their last five meetings with La Roja and he himself has scored no less than six goals against them. The countries have, moreover, met twice at the FIFA World Cup to date, and on both occasions the Brazilians netted four goals - winning 4-2 in the 1962 semis and 4-1 in the last 16 at France 1998.
"Thanks to God, I always have done well against Chile," said Robinho. "Of course, I always prepare the same way whoever we are playing, yet against the Chileans I always had the good fortune to hit the target," says the man, who switched successfully to Santos last season in a loan move from Manchester City.
Thanks to God, I always have done well against Chile.
"Anyway, every game is different for the Brazilian team," Robinho said. "The most important thing is to target victory as a group. If I can score then that's great - but the most important thing is that Brazil win and go through to the next round.
"When it comes down to it, statistics count for nothing. You have to respect all your rivals. We played well these last few games and deservedly won - but you have to play well and deserve to win the next game equally," he added. "For us, there are only favourites off the pitch, on paper. Once you are out there Brazil can beat any team - yet also lose. We respect the Chilean players very much and our objective is to turn in a great showing and win."
Robinho says they will have to make their pace count when they come up against Marcelo Bielsa's side. "Our team has to play quickly - that makes things all the more difficult for their marking," he said.
Robinho, who was suspended for the Portugal game along with Kaka, refused to imply that their return would make the difference, preferring to salute those who had stood in for them during that match. "Kaka and I are key players for the team based on our experience," he said. "But we knew that even in our absence the showing of the team was the same. We know we are important players but also that we are not indispensable."
Robinho said he accepted that the team had to put up with the sky-high level of expectation at home and in the media. "We know the Brazilian people and the media are very demanding but we are used to that. Our goal is to win the World Cup and do it playing well," said Robinho. The winners of the clash will face either the Netherlands or surprise package Slovakia in the quarter-finals.