BRAZILIAN former Oxford City star Felipe Barcelos is backing England to beat Italy in their opening World Cup match tonight, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
The 22-year-old striker has a foot in all three camps and while he hopes to be able to cheer his home nation to overall victory, he is confident Roy Hodgson’s side can get off to a winning start in Group D.
Barcelos lived in Brazil for the first 14 years of his life, before moving to Oxford.
He has just returning to the city after spending the past year playing in Italy for Serie D side ASD Santhià Calcio.
His time abroad has proved valuable in getting to know about different cultures, and he says that the vibe in Italy is that their national team is not one of the strongest.
“Obviously I’ll be supporting Brazil, but I’ll have a bit of Italy and England with me,” he said.
“It’s definitely not the best Italy we’ve ever seen, but it’s not a side that will give up easily, so it will be interesting to see.
“England have got a lot of young players in, but they’ll need the older players to do the best they can to beat Italy.
“But I still think England will win the game.”
Barcelos, who grew up in the Brazilian city of Dourados before moving to Oxford at 14, believes that this year’s event in his home country will be a huge success.
He said: “I always look forward to a World Cup, it’s something that I’ve always loved.
“But for me, it being in Brazil is great because I can always remember that we had a World Cup in our country while I was alive.
“For us to win on home soil would be amazing.
“It’s something that we can share with people and say ‘we won a World Cup in our own home’ and it would be really special if we could do it.”
Latest Sport news
9:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015
GEORGE Baldock described the decision join Oxford United as a “no-brainer” given the determination the club had shown to bring him back.
7:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015
ADAM Tucker’s superb unbeaten century was in vain for Shrivenham as they fell to a six-wicket defeat at home to OCA leaders Minster Lovell in Division 1.
7:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
Thame Town went back to the top of the Cherwell League table after romping to victory over struggling Wolverton Town.
7:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
OXFORD University made a poor start to cricket’s Varsity Match with Cambridge at Fenners.
6:50am Wednesday 1st July 2015
ALEXIS Canter will fulfil his dream of playing at Wimbledon after being handed a wildcard into the main draw of the Junior Championships.
6:00am Wednesday 1st July 2015
CHEQUERS A moved off the bottom of the table with a shock 2-1 win over leaders Crown Chalgrove in Section 3 of the Greene King Oxford & District League, writes ANDY BEAL.
4:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015
GEORGE Baldock has agreed to return to Oxford United on a season-long loan deal from MK Dons.
12:00pm Tuesday 30th June 2015
OXFORD United’s game at Bristol Rovers in September has been selected for live coverage by Sky Sports.
10:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015
Ryan Clarke looks certain to be leaving Oxford United, with head coach Michael Appleton expecting the goalkeeper to depart this week.
9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015
Oxford's United’s squad will visit RAF Benson tomorrow for a two-day team bonding trip aimed at testing them physically and mentally.