Brazil are World Cup favourites: Maradona

Buenos Aires, Sep 1 (IANS) Football legend Diego Maradona says Brazil are firm favourites to win next year's FIFA World Cup on home soil.

The 1986 World Cup winner predicts a poor showing from European nations during football's showpiece tournament to be played from June 12-July 13, reports Xinhua.

"Brazil won't have anybody to match them during the World Cup. We all saw what happened in the Confederations Cup. The European teams drop a level when they play in South America," Maradona said Saturday.

The former Napoli and Boca Juniors star also renewed his feud with Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona, calling for the 81-year-old to step down. Maradona has been outspoken in his criticism of Grondona since he was sacked as national coach after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"There is a mafia in Argentina's national team and it is causing Argentine football to die slowly. We cannot have Grondona here for 700 years and at an age in which he has no new ideas. There is no question; the players do what they can. The problem is with the officials," the 52-year-old said.


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