LISBON - Portugal playmaker Deco does not
believe scoring a goal against his native Brazil at the World
Cup finals in South Africa will be seen by his compatriots as a
The two countries will meet in Durban on June 25 in the last
Group G match of the tournament which runs from June 11 to July
"It will be a special game because I am Brazilian, a totally
different game from all the others. I chose to play for Portugal
and I will defend that shirt until the end. When I made the
decision I knew these matches could happen," the midfielder told
the A Bola sports daily.
"If I score, no Brazilian can see that as a betrayal against
the country in which I was born."
Deco arrived in Portugal in 1997 and obtained Portuguese
citizenship in 2002. Uncapped for Brazil, he was eligible to
play for Portugal and in March of the following year Luiz Felipe
Scolari selected him to play in a friendly against Brazil.
Deco scored an 82nd minute winner and has gone on to earn 71
caps and score five goals for his adopted country.
"Given my career, the most normal thing would have been to
play for Brazil. There are players who didn't achieve half of
what I have, but who wore that (Brazil) shirt," he said.
"Playing in the Brazil team would have been the easiest and
most natural thing for someone who won everything with Porto,
was in Barcelona's starting XI for four years and plays at one
of the main clubs in the world (Chelsea)."
The World Cup finals will be the last time Deco plays for
Portugal as he wants to spend more time with his family and
possibly return to Brazil after his contract with Chelsea ends
at the end of next season.
The 32-year-old said he wanted to reach the finals in top
"I believe, honestly, that I am going to have a great World
Cup", he said.
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