'Second place is worthless' - Rivaldo admits pressure is on Neymar and Brazil

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The World Cup winner has admitted that the Selecao simply must be victorious in Russia, or risk being called failures

Brazil's squad will be considered failures should they not claim their sixth World Cup title in Russia, according to the legendary Rivaldo.

Tite's side, who breezed through qualifying, losing just once in 18 games, begin their campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar - who was injured during Brazil's 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home turf in 2014, is expected to be fit to start at the Rostov Arena following his recovery from a fractured foot that saw him miss much of the second half of the 2017-18 season.

And former Barcelona star Rivaldo, who tasted World Cup glory in 2002 and scored 35 goals in 75 appearances for Brazil, believes anything less than victory is unacceptable.

"I always say Brazil is the favourite in every World Cup, because of its tradition," Rivaldo told Express Sport.

"I was second place in 1998 and in Brazil this is worthless.

"In Brazil only being the champion is good, second place or fourth, like happened at the last cup, the players are criticised, the team.

"Brazilians only accept first place, not like some other teams, other countries with tradition, they sometimes land second, third or fourth place and are celebrated.

"The pressure is always there, right? For Neymar or any other player for Brazil, the pressure is always there, this is expected.

"It’s expected and normal, but we are experienced in dealing with that and knowing that Brazilians only care about being the champions."

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Brazil will also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E, as they attempt to exorcise the demons of 2014.

Though their group appears somewhat soft, former Switzerland star Stephane Chapuisat believes that his countrymen will provide Tite's side with a stern test on Sunday.

"Brazil is one of the favourites of the tournament, but Switzerland are always difficult to handle, we are well organized and we can bother big teams," he told Goal. "But Brazil are still thinking about a World Cup at home that ended badly. They may have a big reaction.

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