MX23RW : Wednesday, July 18 18:31:28

Roberto Martinez: 'Belgium ready for Brazil test'

Martinez: 'Belgium ready for Brazil test'
© Reuters
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes that his side are "very similar" to Brazil in terms of quality, but concedes that the Selecao boast far more pedigree.

Roberto Martinez has told his Belgium players to not show Brazil too much respect when they lock horns in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The Red Devils produced a strong comeback from two goals down to beat Japan 3-2 in the first knockout round, extending their run to four wins from four in Russia.

Brazil also have momentum on their side heading into Friday evening's match at the Kazan Arena, having recovered from an opening-game draw to top Group E prior to a 2-0 last-16 win over Mexico.

Belgium boss Martinez acknowledges that the five-time world champions boast more pedigree than his adopted nation, but is banking on team spirit prevailing over individual talent.

"The two sides are very similar in terms of qualities. The difference is we haven't won a World Cup - simple as that," he told reporters at his pre-match presser.

"When you go into a tournament if you don't have that knowhow of winning one you can't have an advantage on the opponent. We shouldn't play Brazil, we shouldn't be in awe of the opportunity we have. We need to enjoy our game, be ourselves. When we do that our talent shows.

"There is something special in this squad, no doubt about it. The signs are positive and of a real desire to be on the football pitch. We can't wait. I feel we are as ready as we can be. Over the last two years we have been working towards this moment."

Brazil won the only previous World Cup encounter between the two sides, coming out on top 2-0 in 2002 through goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo.

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Belgium defender Thomas Meunier in action during his side's international friendly with Portugal on June 2, 2018
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