Argentina star heaps pressure on fierce rivals Brazil

Angel Di Maria Argentina

Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria has tried to place pressure on fierce South American rivals Brazil ahead of the World Cup.

Both sides are among the favourites for the tournament, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's side carrying the hopes of a host nation, who are looking to crown a sixth world title in their own backyard.

La Albiceleste warmed up for the competition with a 4-0 win over Panama on Tuesday, with Barcelona star Neymar in superb form.

Brazil host Croatia in the opening game before games against Mexico and Cameroon, and Argentine star Di Maria has done his best to add to the burden of expectation on their rivals.

Di Maria told Fox Sports: "Brazil won the Confederations Cup against Spain, the defending world champions, so they should be confident, but they have more pressure than us.

"Everyone knows it's not easy to win [the World Cup] and that, for many years, Argentina haven't been champions nor reached a final.

“They are things we have to be relaxed about, knowing we can do it because we have great players, the best in the world at the best clubs in the world."

The Los Blancos man also stated his belief that last season was his best ever after Carlo Ancelotti's side won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

"It was a very good year, I'm happy. Now I'm thinking about the national team and hopefully things will go the same way,” he added.

“I assisted the most goals in the League and in the Copa del Rey and was the best player in the Champions League final. I think it was the best year in my career.”

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