Neymar: 'England won't be a threat at the World Cup'

The Brazil international says he does not fear Roy Hodgson's team ahead of their friendly clash and also revealed he rejected offers from English sides before joining Barcelona
Brazil superstar Neymar has dismissed England's chances of winning the 2014 World Cup, with the sides set to meet at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The 21-year-old was part of the Selecao side that lost 2-1 against England in February at Wembley, but he believes the Three Lions will pose little threat at the 2014 World Cup.

“I have respect for a lot of the England players as they have achieved great things at their clubs,” Neymar told The Sun.

“But, as a national team, I don’t look at England and think they are going to be a real threat at the World Cup.

“We want to win the World Cup in front of our home fans and the two nations I look at as a real threat are Germany and Spain. After that it’s a group including Argentina, Holland, Italy and one or two more.

“But England I don’t even think about.”

Neymar, who has scored 20 goals in 32 appearances for Brazil, recently joined La Liga giant Barcelona, and he has revealed he rejected the advances of several English clubs before moving to the Camp Nou.

“There was interest from teams in England and Spain,” Neymar continued. “But my family spoke to me about joining a club where you could not just win things but where there’s stability.

“I didn’t want to play for a team that changed its coach every season.”

The ex-Santos attacker is also eager to secure victory against England to celebrate the first match at the Maracana since its renovation, and believes competition to get in Luiz Felipe Scolari's side is fierce.

“It’s a big game for us on Sunday because we want to open the new stadium with a win,” he added.

“The most important thing is we impress the coach though. There are only 11 places in the team for the opening game at the World Cup and each player needs to prove to the coach he’s worth being in one of those places.”