Danny Welbeck talks of the 'magic that sets Brazil apart '

England will play the five time World Cup winners on Sunday

Danny Welbeck has been in awe of Brazil ever since he sat spellbound on his sofa as an 11-year-old watching Ronaldinho knock England out of the World Cup.

The Manchester United forward is far too young to have seen anything of the true halcyon days of Brazilian football other than on You Tube or DVD.

Yet the magic of those famous yellow shirts retains all the power of old.

The last of their five World Cup triumphs came in 2002.

Welbeck had not even started secondary school at the time. But the lesson he received through his TV screen on June 21 was an invaluable part of his footballing education.

Speaking on behalf of England lead sponsors Vauxhall, Welbeck said: "I remember watching that game with all my family and obviously the main memory is the goal Ronaldinho scored.

"At the time, I couldn't work out whether he meant it or not.

"Looking back now he 100% meant it.

"It is part of the magic that sets Brazil apart from the rest and I have followed them ever since.

"Obviously I wasn't born when Pele was playing at World Cups but I have watched plenty of videos, both of him and other great players.

"It is not hard to understand what a good side they have been."

There is plenty of stardust in this present Brazil squad too.

The fact Welbeck's United team-mate Rafael, who made such rapid improvement in the Premier League this season, has not been considered for Luiz Felipe Scolari's squad for Sunday's high-profile friendly at the Maracana Stadium emphasises the talent at their disposal.

Main man now is 21-year-old forward Neymar, whose performances for Santos have persuaded Barcelona to stump up in excess of £50million.

"He has created quite a few You Tube victims," said Welbeck, referring to the number of internet clips in existence of Neymar making a mug of some hapless defender.

"He is spectacular and someone the fans love to see."

Facing Brazil will be another significant milestone in Welbeck's career, completing a remarkable 12 months on the international stage given the huge impact he made at Euro 2012.

Yet the 22-year-old is not entirely happy.

For at Manchester United he cannot escape the statistic of scoring only twice all season.

Even if one of those goals came against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, it is not a tally that allows Welbeck to look back with any degree of fondness at, but it is notable that he has only started twice in a striking position for United all season.

"Overall, there have been improvements to my game and I have been more consistent," said Welbeck.

"But I have been playing on the wing, which has inhibited my ability to get into goalscoring positions this season.

"I have played up front for England, been away to tournaments, and scored goals there so I know once I get into those positions I will put the chances away.

"I am also aware that knowing how to play in different positions and developing in different areas of the pitch and will only benefit me and the teams I play for.

"I am happy to help the team out and it doesn't really matter whether I am playing on the wing or up front, I should have had a much better goal return."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen