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   June 25, 2002 | 1445 IST


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Juninho challenges Turkey

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Brazil midfielder Juninho has challenged outsiders Turkey to prove they are the better team in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final.

The Turks, in the last four for the first time, criticised Brazilian forward Rivaldo following their controversial 2-1 defeat by the South Americans in the group stages.

"We don't have to prove anything to anyone," Juninho told reporters before training on Tuesday.

"We have proved it on the pitch already. If they (Turkey) think they are best they will have to prove it tomorrow in the semi-final."

Turkey had two players sent off in the group C defeat on June 3, the second of whom, Hakan Unsal, was dismissed after Rivaldo feigned injury.

Juninho is hoping to play in Brazil's midfield against the Turks as a replacement for the suspended Ronaldinho.

Brazil, four-times former World Cup winners, beat England 2-1 in the quarter-finals after falling a goal behind, as they did against Turkey, and they were also made to work for their second round victory over Belgium.

"Our objective, of course, is to get to the final -- not just to get to the final but to win it," Juninho added.

"We are nearly there, even though we have had to play against some of the hardest teams. But if we keep going the same way we have a great opportunity to be champions."

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