Gilberto aware of Drogba threat
Brazil midfielder not underestimating Ivorians
By Mike Barton. Last Updated: June 18, 2010 11:51am
Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva has admitted he is wary of the threat the Ivory Coast possess ahead of the meeting in Group G on Sunday.
The Brazilians were meant to open their campaign with a bang against North Korea in their first match, however, the final result proved less impressive as they laboured to a 2-1 victory.
The Ivorians were equally uninspiring in their goalless draw with Portugal earlier that day, but manager Sven Goran Eriksson has stated that "it wouldn't be surprising" if captain Didier Drogba starts against Brazil despite fracturing his right arm before the tournament.
Despite Brazil's tag as favourites for the tournament, Gilberto, who was part of the side that beat Eriksson's England team in 2002 on the way to winning the trophy, insisted they were not taking anything for granted.
"We will be expecting a lot of difficulties against them. They have a strong team, but we are very confident that we can do well and win the game," he said.
"They have a strong team; we must play very well from the first to the last minute."
Drogba wore a protective cast after his introduction in the second half, and Silva highlighted that the Chelsea hit-man will pose the biggest threat to the Brazilians should he play.
"We don't know yet whether he (Drogba) will play or not, even though he came on as a substitute, but we'll see," Gilberto added.
"Of course, we respect him when he plays against us, he's a very important player for them. He is a player about which we should be very careful."