What are your expectations for the World Cup? My expectations are always to be the best. I want to have a great World Cup and help Brazil to win it.
What do you put your amazing goalscoring form for Brazil in the last few years down to? I think I have had this amazing form because the coach and the staff trust in me. That is one of the most important reasons. I also believe in myself: I have the necessary confidence and the desire, and that is why I can score all those goals.
Having not established yourself in the team until 2007, how much is it a case of making up for lost time? I don’t feel that I lost time at all, despite what you say. I was not established in the team until 2007, that’s true, but I think all things happen in life at the right time, and 2007 was the right moment to establish myself in the national team. So I am not thinking about any time I may have lost; I am only thinking about helping the team win titles and to take their place in football history.
How do you find it, leading the forward line on your own for Brazil? Would you prefer an orthodox striker partner, or is it nice having all that space up front to yourself? Well, I feel fine when I play up front on my own, as Brazil have lots of attacking midfielders with great quality and they never leave me isolated. But I can’t tell you which system I prefer; I have played in both systems for the national team and I feel really comfortable with both of them.
What do you say to people who say that Brazil are a ‘defensive’ team under Dunga? I disagree with them. Our team always plays with the ball – always – and we try to be on the front foot in every game we play. But we are not a naive team and we know that we need to defend well if we don’t want to deal with any surprises during ?the games.
Have you dreamt about scoring the winning goal in the World Cup final? Let me tell you: my biggest dream is to win the World Cup with Brazil. But I can’t deny that I would love to score the winning goal – that would be even more special. But believe me when I say this: if I had to choose, I would rather win the World Cup and not score the winning goal.
Does it help having won the Confederations Cup and played in South Africa last summer? What are you expecting from the stadiums and the fans? The Confederations Cup was really useful for us, because we discovered the climate of South Africa and our first impressions were great. We could see that the stadia were set up really well; the training camps were great as well. I’m sure that the fans in South Africa are going to welcome us really nicely.
What are you most looking forward to about the World Cup? The title. I want to win the title. I would sacrifice any personal goals in return for the title.
What other teams do you fear most and why? There are many, but I have to put Spain at the top of that list because they have a great team and they are playing some amazing football. England are next, as they also have a great team. But I have to mention Germany and Italy too, as they are favourites in every World Cup.
Interview: June 2010.