FIFA World Cup 2022 – Valon Behrami: “Dad, Neymar is too strong for you” – rts.ch
4 years ago in Russia, the Swiss screen exploded during a draw with Brazil (1-1). Valon Behrami literally silenced Neymar. The Ticino takes a look at his match against the Brazilian star as we await Switzerland v Brazil 2022 in Qatar from 4.30pm on RTS2.
Valon Behrami, the first Swiss to play in 4 World Cups, set us up for a meeting in the Lugano sun on Thursday (before Neymar got injured against Serbia). The 37-year-old Ticino is sharp, smiling and laid-back. Probably because the Swiss team beat Cameroon, but also because they put their cramp aside 6 months ago. “I’m enjoying my life now. I feel really good after playing for 20 years. I’m positive. Life is good.”A consultant at RSI during the World Cup and also an expert on the Serie A championship for the Italian private channel explains.
Valon Behrami shared some anecdotes from his duel with Neymar before giving information about the Switzerland and Brazil teams he thinks are better than 2018 and revealing his favorites for the World Cup.
Let’s say I had a good day and Neymar had a bad day
RTSsport.ch: On June 17, 2018, the Swiss team played against Brazil at the World Cup held in Russia. What memories do you have of it?
WALON BAHRAMI: I remember well that before going to Russia, my daughter asked me if I would really play against Neymar. I answered him yes. And she said to me “but dad, she’s too strong for you” (laughs).
RTSsport.ch: Anyway, you proved to him that it was possible to dominate Neymar…
WALON BAHRAMI: Everything is possible in football. This was an additional source of motivation on game day.
RTSsport.ch: You literally “turned off” Neymar. But tell us, was she falling on her own, or were you still helping her a little?
WALON BAHRAMI: As usual, I used all parts of my body, all means, sometimes to the limit (laughs) to disturb my opponent. I had a lot of confidence because I had won the duel from the first minute.
RTSsport.ch: Was it the best match of your career?
WALON BAHRAMI: I don’t think so, because my role is limited to reducing Neymar’s area of activity.
RTSsport.ch: Anyway, pretty much the whole planet saw you stand up to Neymar… He has to do something, again?
WALON BAHRAMI: Let’s say I had a good day and Neymar had a bad day. With just one match left, that doesn’t detract from the value of Neymar, one of the best players in the world.
I had only one task that day, and that was to limit Neymar’s range of motion.
RTSsport.ch: How was the mood before Brazil?
WALON BAHRAMI: We didn’t talk much in the locker room. We were silent to conserve energy.
RTSsport.ch: Did you talk to Neymar during the meeting?
WALON BAHRAMI: No, Neymar does not talk to the opponent. Big players like Neymar, Messi or Ronaldo don’t talk much. They don’t match the opponent’s mental game. I tried to talk to him 2-3 times, he didn’t respond. It is a sign of adults. He faces players like me throughout his career.
RTSsport.ch: Neymar tried in vain to find a way to get rid of you…
WALON BAHRAMI: I watched a lot of videos trying to decipher his game. I knew he would back down if he got in trouble. I have always been behind him. But I repeat. I had only one task to perform that day, and that was to limit Neymar’s range of motion. He couldn’t tell the difference.
RTSsport.ch: Did you change shirts after the match?
WALON BAHRAMI: Nope. In general, I don’t like to do this. And anyway, I wasn’t the best person to ask him for his shirt after that night (laughs).
RTSsport.ch: You played a great game against Neymar. The other side of the coin is that you received death threats on social media… How did you experience this moment?
WALON BAHRAMI: During this World Cup, football sometimes took a back seat. These events led to my withdrawal from social media. I feel better this way. All these statements annoyed me. And when that happens, when you don’t have the strength, it’s better to stay away from social networks.
Lugano, Miguel Bao – @migbao