Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira praised
playing standards at the Copa America on Tuesday, saying they were at least
equal to the European championship played the previous month in Portugal.
"In terms of comfort for the supporters, facilities, stadiums and organisation,
there's no comparison," Parreira told reporters.
"It's a reflection of Europe's far greater economic wealth."
"But in terms of the football which has been played, I don't think the Copa
America is in any way inferior.
"It's the same standard or, possibly, better."
The Copa America has enjoyed a revival this year after the previous tournament
in Colombia three years ago was fraught with problems.
The 2001 event went ahead at only five days' notice, having earlier been
postponed because of security worries. Argentina pulled out and several other
countries sent reserve teams.
This time, most teams have been at full-strength though Brazil are one of the
exceptions after resting several top players including Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos,
Kaka and Ronaldinho.
Despite this, the world champions have reached the semi-finals where they face
Uruguay in the National Stadium on Wednesday.
Parreira said the tournament had been an excellent chance for him to watch new
players such as Inter Milan striker Adriano, who is the competition's leading
scorer with five goals in as many games.
"The competition has been very useful, we have observed players, we have drawn
conclusions, we have spent time together, got to know each other and got results."
"Now, we're in the semi-finals where Brazil should always be. We've reached the
point of no return."