Brazil defender Thiago Silva says his team is taking nothing for granted as they prepare to defend the CONMEBOL Copa America.
The Milan star is part of his nation’s squad for the 2011 tournament in Argentina, with Brazil targeting a third-consecutive triumph.
Mauro Menezes’ team drew 0-0 with the Netherlands and beat Romania 1-0 in their two friendly fixtures ahead of the tournament, which starts for Brazil against Venezuela in La Plata on Sunday.
Paraguay and Ecuador make up the rest of Group B, and Silva knows it will take good football just to progress to the quarter-finals.
“Today, football isn’t what it was 20 years ago when Brazil came on the field and everyone knew that they would win 4- or 5-0,” Silva said.
“Today, the playing field is level and if you don’t have respect for your adversary you can have a lot of problems.”
“All the Argentine players are sure that they can win the competition, because they have a well-formed team that has played together for a long time. They are prepared to get through the first round, which is the most difficult. You have to have respect for Argentina.”
Brazil remain hopeful that stars Alexandre Pato and Ganso – selected despite both being under injury clouds – will be fit to participate.