As the list of star absentees increases, the Selecao duo admitted that picking up an injury on the eve of the tournament is a fear shared by all footballersBrazil stars Bernard and Maicon have expressed their relief at making it through the country's final World Cup warm-ups unscathed.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side beat Serbia 1-0 at the Morumbi in Sao Paulo on Friday in their final Gillette Brasil Global Tour match before the tournament kicks off on June 12.
And following an evening that may well see Germany’s Marco Reus added to a growing list of stars missing the World Cup through injury, the Brazil duo admitted they are well aware of the dangers facing players as the country's opening game against Croatia edges ever closer.
"I think I have the fear of getting hurt,” said Bernard. “Who doesn’t want to play at a World Cup?
“But I think when one enters the field, everyone forgets about that ... on the pitch we are all very focused and competitive – even in friendlies ahead of the World Cup.”
“In training, you can even hold back a little,” added Maicon.
“But when it's friendly game, no way. You have to always give you absolute maximum. After these games, we just have to thank God that everyone came out in one piece.”