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The midfielder is keen for the people of his country to have belief in the Selecao's ability to earn a sixth world crown

EXCLUSIVE
By Kris Voakes in Brasilia

Hernanes believes Brazil's convincing 3-0 victory over Japan in the Confederations Cup opener was a great statement of intent as they look to prove they are serious contenders for the World Cup.

The Selecao got the campaign off to a flying start thanks to goals from Neymar, Paulinho and substitute Jo, and the midfielder was quick to play up the importance of the competition in the build-up to next year's main event.

"The Confederations Cup is important because, above all, next year there is the World Cup that is our major objective, the Lazio star told Goal.

"This is a true test of our abilities physically, but also a chance to give the fans hope and show them they have a great team that can win the World Cup next year."

The ex-Sao Paulo ace went on to praise the home crowd, whose support he believes will be vital throughout both the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"It was a near-perfect first game, especially for the Brazilian people," he continued. "The team worked with great energy for the fans.

"It was truly a great game because we came out of it without taking any risks and I think that now the fans will believe in us, and they can help us in other games as they helped us in this one."
 
Next up, Brazil face Mexico in Fortaleza on Wednesday before heading to Salvador for their final Group A fixture against Italy, and while both are set to provide tough opposition, Hernanes was keen to play up the mental boost of the team's opening win.

"Japan was a big game as I've said, because of the fans. I believe now that Mexico and Italy will be two very difficult matches, and we must be very careful, taking with us the things we did well today. Above all, we must play 'our' football."

Mexico and Italy clash in the competition's second fixture in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, kicking-off at 21:00CET.

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