Parreira promises big improvement against Portugal

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, whose team produced a dreary 0-0 draw away to China last month as he began his third stint in charge, has promised a big improvement in the upcoming game in Portugal. 

“We will have more time to train, I think we will have four training sessions together and we will certainly be better,” said Parreira, who blamed fatigue and a lack of practice for the performance in Asia. 

“Without doubt, our performance will improve in technical and tactical terms.” 

There were no major surprises as Parreira named 18 foreign-based players for the match in Porto on March 29. Four home-based players will be named on Tuesday. 

The game will pit Brazil against former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led them to their fifth World Cup title last year. 

Brazil's top players – including World Cup winners Cafu, Edmilson, Roberto Carlos, Gilberto Silva, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo – were all included. 

Parreira, who led Brazil to their fourth World Cup title in 1994, played down any personal rivalry between the two coaches. 

“This is a match between two national teams who both have a good tradition, nothing more,” said Parreira. 

“It does mean that it will be more difficult to surprise them, but that's all.” 

Parreira also refused to be drawn into the row which has blown up in Portugal after Brazilian-born Deco was granted Portuguese citizenship little more than five years after arriving in the country. 

Scolari has already said he is prepared to pick Deco, ignoring protests from top players such as Luis Figo and Rui Costa. 

“We have nothing to do with this episode,” said Parreira, adding that he and his staff had previously observed Deco but had not considered selecting him for Brazil. 

Asked if Brazil would consider fielding foreign-born players, Parreira said: “It would never be necessary because of the great number players we have of our own. 

“We have never needed to import players (for the clubs), even less so for the Selecao (national team). 

“But this is very common in international football nowadays. 

“England, despite all their tradition, found it was necessary for them to have a foreign coach.” 

Parreira admitted that Brazil appeared to be losing the battle against European clubs over the release of players for friendlies. 

FIFA rules allow Brazil to have their players for five friendlies a year but European clubs recently protested bitterly over having to release players for the trip to China, even though the match was on a date allocated by football's governing body. 

“It used to be eight games a year, then seven and now it's five,” Parreira said. “This looks like the start of another process (to reduce availability).” – Reuters 




Goalkeeper: Dida (AC Milan). 

Defenders: Belletti (Villareal), Cafu (AS Roma), Cris (Bayer Leverkusen), Edmilson (Olympique Lyon), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Junior (Parma), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid). 

Midfielders: Emerson (AS Roma), Flavio Conceicao (Real Madrid), Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich). 

Forwards: Amoroso (Borussia Dortmund), Adriano (Parma), Denilson (Real Betis), Rivaldo (AC Milan), Ronaldinho (Paris St Germain), Ronaldo (Real Madrid). 

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