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Gregory Loo
Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sports

Massaro in Brazil's corner

The New Paper | Gregory Loo | Saturday, May 10, 2014

Interview with AC Milan legend Daniele Massaro, who is in town for the club's local soccer school launch

Former Italy international Daniele Massaro believes Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil are favourites to win this year's World Cup.

The AC Milan legend, who is in town for the grand launch of the club's football school in Singapore, believes the likes of Neymar, Oscar and Fernandinho possess enough quality to outshine anyone else when the tournament kicks off on home soil next month.

Speaking to The New Paper on Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel, Massaro, now a public relations manager for the Rossoneri, said: "I think it will come down to the same teams - Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain and France or England.

"I've played in two World Cups in 1982 and 1994 and you have to stay focused on the tournament for 40 days.

"If you start with a win, you take confidence. Just look at Atletico Madrid - who would have thought before the season that they would have a chance to win La Liga and play in the final of the Champions League? This is football.

"But Brazil have an 80 per cent chance of winning and maybe Spain or Germany have the remaining 20 per cent. Brazil's quality is at the top."

Massaro started his career with AC Monza in Serie B in 1979. His first taste of top flight football in Italy came in 1981 when he moved to Fiorentina.

The young striker impressed enough to draw the attention of legendary Italy boss Enzo Bearzot, and won his first cap against East Germany in 1982.

At the age of just 21, Massaro made the squad for the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, and, while he didn't play in any of the seven games, the youngster had a first-hand view of Italy's journey to the mountain top.

He moved to AC Milan in 1986 and enjoyed a stunning football career with the Rossoneri, winning four Serie A titles and two Champions League winners' medals, among a whole host of other Cup triumphs.

He played with some of the best footballers in the world - Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rikjaard, Marco van Basten and Dejan Savicevic, to name a few - and was managed by Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, regarded as two of Italy's finest.

He may have only managed 15 caps, but Massaro made two trips to the World Cup with Azzurri.

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