Brazil Not Ready for Prime Time, Says National Soccer Team Coach

Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said Saturday Brazil’s first full practice ahead of the World Cup showed the defending champion still needs to improve.

"After eight months, it was the first time this team played together," Parreira told the Brazilian Soccer Confederation’s Web site. "There’s no secret in soccer … you need (to have) progress."

In about 50 minutes of action, Brazil’s starters beat the second-stringers 4-0 with two goals by Ronaldo, one by Adriano and another by Zé Roberto.

"There were some things that went wrong, others went very well," Parreira said.

As already announced, Parreira used his "magic quartet" scheme, with Ronaldinho, Kaká, Adriano and Ronaldo up front. Zé Roberto and Emerson were the defensive midfielders, and Dida, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Lúcio and Juan played on defense.

Parreira stopped the practice several times, rearranging players tactically and asking them to repeat some set plays. Defender Chris scored for the reserves in one of the repeated plays but the goal didn’t count.

Brazil’s soccer confederation, or CBF, announced that the team would face the youth squad of Brazilian club Fluminense on Sunday (the Seleção Brasileira ended up winning 14 to 1 that game) at the lakeside resort town of Weggis, where Brazil is preparing to defend its world title in Germany.

Parreira said that warmup would be very useful for the team’s preparation.

"We will play a team in the middle of its season, in good physical conditions … while ours is in the end."

Brazil will play two friendlies in Switzerland against FC Lucerne on May 30 and against New Zealand on June 4 before moving to Germany in early June.

It will debut in the month-long tournament against Croatia on June 13, then will face Australia on June 18 and Japan on June 22.

Pravda – www.pravda.com

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