Brazil’s Ramires says his side are fully aware of the pressure they face ahead of their World Cup opener against Croatia on Thursday.
The host nation go into the tournament as overall favourites and the Chelsea midfielder understands the expectations that tag comes with.
‘I think that every game Brazil plays will have this pressure of winning and everybody is aware of that,’ Ramires said. ‘All the players have experience, including the younger ones. They have been under big difficulties throughout their careers and we’re all relaxed on this matter.
‘The most important thing when we enter the pitch is to be at our best and win. After all, we have to in order to qualify for the next rounds.’
Ramires was one of Brazil’s key men at the last World Cup in South Africa, with manager Dunga citing his absence through suspension as one of the primary reasons for their quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands.
The then-Benfica player’s performances at the tournament were enough to earn him a move to Chelsea that summer, where the 27-year-old has been a solid contributor over the past four seasons, including during the side’s Champions League-winning run in 2011-12.
Ramires is set to miss out on the Brazil starting lineup this time around though, with returning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who guided the nation to success at the 2002 tournament, preferring Wolfsburg’s Luiz Gustavo and Tottenham’s Paulinho as his central midfield pairing.
In addition, recent transfer rumours have also thrown his future at Stamford Bridge into doubt, with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who signed Ramires for Chelsea before departing in 2011, linked with a £25 million bid for the Brazilian.
The club however have already expressed that any offers will be rejected, but it remains to be seen how the player’s World Cup campaign could change things on that front.