Facing players like Neymar and Dani Alves can only be of benefit to Zambia, according to exciting attacking talent
By Robin Bairner
Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka is looking forward to the challenge of facing Brazil in a friendly on Tuesday evening as he believes that the Selecao are currently the best side in the world.
The 22-year-old attacker is no stranger to international success, having led his country to Africa Cup of Nations success in 2011, when they created a major shock by defeating Cote d’Ivoire on penalties in the final.
Mayuka was named the tournament’s outstanding player and is extremely excited by the opportunity to pit himself against Luis Felipe Scolari's men, a challenge that he believes will benefit Zambia's entire side.
“Of course it is great to play against Brazil and players such as Dani Alves and Neymar,” he told Goal.
“Brazil are the best team in the world and it will be a good experience for Zambia to play against them.”
One Brazil star who will not be present is Thiago Silva, and Mayuka is desperately disappointed that the Paris Saint-Germain defender has been ruled out through injury.
“I would have preferred that Thiago Silva was able to play since we like to play against the best players,” he explained. “For me, it doesn’t matter against whom I play - I always like to score.”
Despite Zambia’s 2011 Africa Cup of Nations win, Patrice Beaumelle’s side have missed out on World Cup qualification and Mayuka is still coming to terms with the setback, even if he believes that the future is still bright for Chipolopolo.
“Truth to be told, it was disappointing because we really wanted to reach the World Cup,” he said. “Still, I think we made a great race and we finished second to a great Ghana team.
“Our team is young and I’m sure we will be in other World Cups.”
Mayuka, who is presently on loan at Ligue 1 side Sochaux from Southampton, is aiming to add to his 10 international goals in Beijing, where the intriguing friendly fixture will take place.