Marquinhos, Dante
Interviews

'Marquinhos a top 5 defender' - Dante

'Marquinhos a top 5 defender' - Dante

Interviews
Publish on 12/02 at 11:47

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OGC Nice captain Dante isn't at the FIFA World Cup with Brazil, but he is watching Paris Saint-Germain pair Marquinhos and Neymar Jr. with interest.

OGC Nice captain Dante isn't at the FIFA World Cup with Brazil, but he is watching Paris Saint-Germain pair Marquinhos and Neymar Jr. with interest.

 

Dante, now 39, won 13 Brazil caps between 2013 and 2014, and he remains an avid follower of the Selecao. Ligue1.com sat down recently with the towering centre-back…

 

Ligue1.com: You remain an avid Brazil fan. How do you see them doing at the World Cup?

 

Dante: "On paper, it's clear that Brazil is one of the big favourites. But the World Cup's a knock-out tournament. There are only seven games to get to the end, it goes very quickly. In this type of competition, if you lose a key player, you're in trouble. This is what happened to us during the 2014 World Cup [with Neymar Jr.'s injury against Colombia in the quarter-finals]. This year it's a bit different because we have a lot of attacking weapons. It'll help us. Afterwards, we have to have good cohesion in the group. But yes, Brazil are a big favourite!"

 

Ligue1.com: Neymar had an exceptional start to the season with Paris Saint-Germain was in top form at the World Cup before his injury. Were you surprised by his performances?

 

Dante: "Nope! He's someone who has goals in mind and who manages the pressure of events well. I'm not surprised because six months from the World Cup, he said to himself that he had to put in a lot of effort and have a lighter head and fewer injuries. Since the start of the season, we've seen that he's no longer focusing solely on himself, but more on his team. You can tell he's happy, and that's why he was in such great shape. When he's happy, he has no problems."


Ligue1.com: Marquinhos is also part of the Brazil squad in Qatar. Where do you rank him among the best defenders today?

 

Dante: "In the top five! His strengths? His calmness, his incredible physical qualities. He's not the biggest but exudes calm. He's aggressive, committed to each duel and is excellent at recovering the ball. Even under pressure, he always remains calm. It must also be said that he's an intelligent player. He played for a long time with Thiago Silva, and I feel that he learned a lot from him. Beyond his intrinsic qualities, he's humble. This makes him a great player."

 

Ligue1.com: What impresses you most about the Selecao?

 

Dante: "Definitely the attack. When you have Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Lucas Paquetá, Richarlison, Antony and Gabriel Martinelli, that's a lot! Today we have eight attackers with a lot of quality, and I haven't even mentioned Pedro. Maybe you don't know him well. He plays for Flamengo, but watch out! He scored at the Parc des Princes in the last international break. He's also very, very strong."

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