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Midfielder anticipates intense atmosphere when Mano Menezes' men take to the pitch on Sunday, and admits that players are under pressure to meet fan expectations

Lucas is looking forward to the excitement and the intense atmosphere that comes with the Copa America tournament, as Brazil begin their campaign against Venezuela on Sunday.

The tournament is being played in a rival country, Argentina, and the Liverpool midfielder admits that the host nation have a good chance of winning the competition.

He also classifies Lionel Messi as the best player in the world at the moment, and believes that the Barcelona man could have a telling effect on the outcome of his nation's campaign.

"The atmosphere is always intense. As a footballer, these are the places where you want to play," Lucas told LFC Weekly.

"As a Brazilian, what can I say? I know it will be really hard for us. When the atmosphere is like this, it is very exciting.

"You know most of the people want you to lose but that also makes you want to win more. Brazil-Argentina is probably the biggest international rivalry in the world.

"Argentina have a good chance [of winning the competition] because they have the best in the world at the moment [Lionel Messi]. If he performs, they will be difficult for everyone."

With all the excitement ahead of Brazil's first game of the tournament, Lucas admits that it is tinged with the pressure of having to match the expectations of the fans.

"I come from a country that lives football," he said. "To people, it is life. There are 200 million people that live there and everybody knows about football.

"Everybody has an opinion and everybody thinks they can be manager. The pressure is always really high."

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