Lucas Leiva admits Brazil will relish performing in the 'intense' atmosphere that awaits them in the Copa America.

Mano Menezes's side kick-off their competition against Venezuela in La Plata tonight, aiming to get their quest for an unprecedented third successive tournament triumph off to the perfect start.

However, Lucas knows with the finals being played in Argentina, he and his teammates are unlikely to receive a warm welcome.

Nonetheless, the Liverpool midfielder insists the Canarinhos will rise to the challenge.

Lucas told LFC Weekly: "The atmosphere is always intense. As a footballer, these are the places where you want to play.

"As a Brazilian, what can I say? I know it will be really hard for us. When the atmosphere is like this, it is very exciting.

"You know most of the people want you to lose but that also makes you want to win more. Brazil-Argentina is probably the biggest international rivalry in the world.

"Argentina have a good chance (of winning the competition) because they have the best in the world at the moment (Lionel Messi). If he performs, they will be difficult for everyone."

Brazil were many people's pre-tournament favourites to win the competition, and Lucas is well aware everybody back home will be watching when they take to the field tonight.

He added: "I come from a country that lives football. To people, it is life. There are 200 million people that live there and everybody knows about football.

"Everybody has an opinion and everybody thinks they can be manager. The pressure is always really high.

"During World Cups and other international tournaments, the country just stops and everybody goes out onto the streets.

"As players, we know what our responsibilities are because if we weren't playing, we'd be on the streets too. We have to give everything."