Carlos Alberto Parreira
will take a calculated risk by naming a much-changed Brazil team to play
for their Confederations Cup future against Japan on Wednesday.
Brazil's surprise 1-0 defeat by Mexico in Group B means the world
champions will be on their way home if they lose against Japan in
That would be all the more embarrassing given that Japan are coached by
Zico, one of Brazil's greatest former players, but Parreira is still
preparing to gamble by dropping up to four of his first-choice players.
Among those to make way could be Ronaldinho and Kaka, the two most
creative players in the squad. But Parreira is determined to live with
the inevitable criticism should things go wrong.
"If we were in the World Cup and playing for our future that would be
different. But we'd planned all along to make changes for the third game
and that's what we're going to do," Parreira said.
"I'll take responsibility for that. There will probably be three or four
new players in the team.
"We want to win and go through. This is an important tournament, with
all the continental champions, but above all it's a test ahead of the
Asked about Ronaldinho and Kaka, Parreira hinted that one or both could
be rested ahead of a possible semi-final.
"Both have had tiring seasons in Europe and we may try and ensure that
they're fresh for the next game," the coach said.
Juninho Pernambucano, who scored with a spectacular free-kick in the 3-0
win over Greece, would be first in the queue to come into the midfield.
Zico's Japan showed in their 1-0 win over European champions Greece that
they are well capable of causing Brazil problems - if only they can
improve in front of goal.
With Hidetoshi Nakata and Shunsuke Nakamura in effervescent form, they
made the Greece midfield dizzy only for the starting forwards to miss
the countless chances they created.
"Our main problem is taking chances and obviously we have to improve,"
Zico believes his forwards have a mental block in front of goal but he
remains confident his team can cause a big upset on Wednesday and get
the win they need to qualify for the semi-finals alongside Mexico.
"The important thing is to retain the sprit and the belief that we can
do it," the coach said.
"Brazil are always Brazil but I'm now the coach of Japan and I want to
help them to win."
Mexico will make certain of wining the group if they get at least a draw
against Greece, who are certain of being eliminated, in the other game