‘Most Brazilians reject Neymar’

Casagrande is  in Qatar watching the World Cup.  Photo: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Casagrande is in Qatar watching the World Cup. Photo: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Commentator Walter Casagrande spoke to the Yahoo Sports about the World Cup in Qatar, took the opportunity to make a prediction of the competition, favorites, injuries to Neymar and Danilo, among other subjects.

Known for not mincing words, the former Corinthians player and Brazilian national team player never hid his bias, his social activism, for justice, equality, always ‘hit head on’ with issues involving authoritarianism, opposing the elites, structural fascism.

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Recognized as a symbol of Corinthian democracy, ‘Casão’ was one of several athletes who opposed the current Bolsonaro government (PL). In a few words, he summarized what the government of the current head of state was like (he recently lost the election to former president Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva-PT). Corinthians, Qatar’s choice to host the World Cup were some of the subjects discussed.

Yahoo Sports: To begin with, straight to the “vein”: who do you believe is more likely to win this Cup? What is your prediction for Brazil in the World Cup?

Casagrande: It’s too early to say anything about a cup winner, but I think France, Spain and Brazil are the three I liked the most.

After the match against Serbia, we had muscle problems in two important parts of Tite’s scheme. Lateral Danilo and perhaps the most protagonist of the selection, Neymar. Based on the experience you had as an athlete, is there a risk that both of you will no longer compete in the Cup, even if the team qualifies? What would be Tite’s best attitude in this case?

– Neymar’s injury is more serious and his posts make it clear how big the swelling is and he should probably be feeling a lot of pain. He might even play in the Cup if Brazil advances, but he won’t play 100%. Danilo is a less serious case, but he will also miss days of training, his rhythm changes. I think Tite should opt for Militão on the side and the boy Rodrygo instead of Neymar.

You are declaredly progressive, one of the greatest symbols of democracy within Brazilian football and society. How do you see the return of authoritarianism with current Bolsonarism? In fact, is Bolsonaro the worst president in the history of Brazil?

– Bolsonaro is not only the worst president in Brazilian political history, he is also the most perverse, liar and coward.

Returning to the subject of the moment, “World Cup”, do you believe that Neymar and co’s extra-match can influence and negatively impact the selection? Can scandals, such as tax evasion, be decisive in Neymar’s performance, specifically in the national team?

– I think what is disturbing the most is the great rejection that most Brazilians have for Neymar.

There are rumors, even taken for granted by some journalists, of Vitor Pereira’s arrival at Flamengo, since he himself had already positioned himself, not to defend another club other than Corinthians in Brazil. How do you see this situation? As in the footballer’s slang, was VP “betrayed” with Corinthians?

– I thought it was absurd, but I wasn’t surprised because I never felt security and confidence in Vítor Pereira’s words.

What did you think of Qatar’s choice? Cultural issues, ultraconservative position, patriarchal society, subjugation of women, against LGBTQIA movements? Positions that go against democracy, diversity, equity. How did you see this choice?

– I am against world sporting events in countries that do not respect human rights, which treat women as inferior beings, which are homophobic and which have no tradition in football. The cup is super well-organized, but there’s only a cup atmosphere inside the stadiums and in the media center, otherwise nothing happens.

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