Former Brazil defender Cafu believes his countrymen will be in for a far-from-easy ride when they take on the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup™ on Friday.
The South Americans have enjoyed a comfortable run to the last eight, with victories over North Korea, Côte d'Ivoire and Chile so far, while their only blip came in the form of a goalless draw with Portugal, after they had already qualified. But they are now set for their sternest test yet against the Dutch, who have won all four of their matches.
A Seleção also have injury concerns with Elano already ruled out with an ankle problem, while fellow midfielders Felipe Melo and Julio Baptista are doubts for the clash in Port Elizabeth.
"Tomorrow it's is going to be a difficult game," Cafu, a two-time FIFA World Cup winner, said. "We know we have some problems with injuries and this will be a challenge for the coach Dunga. But I'm sure he will make the right choices in getting the players set up correctly. I hope that Brazil can go as far as possible."
Cafu praised the way the tournament in South Africa had gone, saying it was as good as any of the previous finals he had played in. He continued: "Having participated in four World Cups, I can say today that South Africa is not really behind any one of those countries. Seeing that this is the first time such an event is being held here, I can say that the country has gone beyond expectations."
We know we have some problems with injuries and this will be a challenge for the coach Dunga.
The former defender, who is the most capped Brazilian with over 140 appearances, also said he had seen an improvement in the African teams at the FIFA World Cup and urged them to play more as a team in future events.
He added: "African football is much, much better than what it was five years ago. As far as winning a World Cup, you need the right team and have to work very hard towards reaching your objective. They need to realise that team spirit is also very important and if they can implement this, they will know they can win a World Cup and if we see what Ghana is doing at the moment, an African team will soon win the tournament.
"So far teams that have won the World Cup have been teams that have worked together as a group. This is very important. For example in Brazil, there were many teams that were good but they didn't make it and other teams that were made out to be not as good, but as a group, managed to get far. When the African teams realise this, they will be able to win."