Parreira tips Germany for the World Cup

April 20, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 20 (Reuters) - Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira believes hosts Germany rather than his own team are favourites to win the World Cup.

'I think Germany and Italy are just as much favourites as we are,' he said in an interview with the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper on Thursday.

'In fact, I think Germany are bigger favourites. They've played in seven finals, including three in a row (1982, 1986 and 1990) and they have the fans on their side.'

Parreira added that his players had to forget about their celebrity status and work hard if they were to keep the trophy they won for a fifth time in 2002.

'Talent is not enough at a World Cup. We have to have emotion, an amateur spirit, and play with our hearts,' he said.

'The players must forget that they are celebrities, with good contracts. We have to make them understand that here in Brazil, there are nearly 200 million fans.

'People want Ronaldinho to do the same for us that he does for Barcelona, but they have to remember that we haven't seem him for eight months.' said Parreira.

World Player of the Year Ronaldinho has not played for his country since their match against the United Arab Emirates last November. He missed a friendly against Russia in February due to injury.

On his own future, Parreira said the only chance of continuing as Brazil coach would be if they won the tournament this July.

'There's only one possibility (to continue as coach). You have to be world champion. I have never seen a coach fail to win the World Cup and stay on here in Brazil.'