Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is
already certain of his starting lineup for the team's debut at the World
Cup in Germany.
Parreira said Tuesday that Brazil will play its first match -- against
Croatia on June 13 -- with the "magic quartet" setup, which puts
Ronaldinho, Kaka, Adriano and Ronaldo side-by-side on offense.
"The national team hasn't played together in a long time, so it's
important we maintain the same team that played (in the last matches),"
With the "magic quartet," Brazil's most offensive scheme, the team
finished first in South American World Cup qualifying and won last
year's Confederations Cup.
Parreira initially was hesitant to use the setup because he said it put
too much stress on the defensive midfielders, but later decided to stick
with it for as long as the team keeps winning.
"It might not be the setup we finish the World Cup with, but we will
start with it," Parreira said.
The coach said it's crucial Brazil gets off to a good start in the
monthlong tournament in Germany.
"The first match is important because it can give us the confidence
needed for the rest of the competition," he said, adding that he expects
Croatia to be a tough opponent.
"Croatia did very well in the qualifying round and beat Argentina (in a
friendly)," he said.
Parreira said he accepts Brazil being called the favorite, but said the
team shouldn't be the only one with such a label.
"Germany, Argentina, England and Italy also have this 'obligation' to
win the title, just like Brazil," he said.
Parreira also defended Ronaldo and Adriano, saying they are in form and
will be ready for the World Cup despite their recent struggles at the
Brazil arrived in Switzerland on Monday for its two-week pre-World Cup
preparation. Brazil, seeking a record sixth World Cup title, is in Group
F with Croatia, Australia and Japan.
Brazilian players spent Tuesday conducting physical examinations in the
nearby city of Nottwil. The team's first training session is scheduled
for Wednesday afternoon.