"...but we need to perfect"
One may think that the Brazilian football 5-a-side team does not have many things to improve considering they are the reigning Paralympic, world and Parapan American champions.
But Jefinho, one of the world´s best players, disagrees.
“After the World Championships, we took some time off and now we started a new cycle eyeing the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima,” he said.
“We have some things to improve and others we are good at, but we need to perfect. We hope the team can reach the competition as good as possible.
“We have the best expectations. We want to win gold as in the last three editions of the Parapan American Games. People always imagine us being the champions and that is what we aim for each time we compete.”
Last June, Brazil won their third successive world title in Madrid, Spain, after beating South American rivals Argentina. Jefinho knows they will need to be their very best in Lima to defeat them again.
“They are our main rivals. They are always strong and it will be no different at the Parapans. Colombia are also another country with a strong team, with great players. I believe those are our toughest opponents, but there are other teams who can surprise as well,” he said.
The "first important title”
From all the Parapan American Games he competed in, Jefinho has the fondest memories from Rio 2007.
“It was one of my first competitions with the national team. I remember there were many people supporting us. We beat Argentina in the final to win gold, my first important title representing Brazil. It was a very special event for me.”
Lima 2019 will take place between 23 August and 1 September and will feature over 1,800 athletes competing across 17 sports.