Brazil's coach doesn't think his team needs to play beautifully to be considered a top World Cup contender.
"In the World Cup, to put on a show is to win," Carlos Alberto Parreira said on the Brazilian Soccer Confederation's Web site Monday night.
His comments came a day after Brazil's lacklustre 2-0 victory over Australia in Group F. The defending champion -- which entered the competition heavily favoured to win a record sixth world title -- also struggled in a 1-0 win over Croatia in its opener. "We are facing opponents which play the entire team on defence, so I'm sorry, but to put on a show we would need to talk to the opponent first," Parreira said.
While the team's attack has not met expectations, the coach said the quality of Brazil's adversaries have been underestimated. "When everybody said the group was easy, I chose to call it tricky, because of the threat these opponents could pose," he said. But Brazil is still on track for a second consecutive title because of its defence.
"The defence hasn't allowed goals in five matches ... that needs to be praised," Parreira said. "Balance is fundamental in soccer."
Brazil, ranked No 1 by FIFA, hasn't scored as few as three goals in its first two World Cup matches since the 1990 tournament in Italy, when it was eliminated by archrival Argentina in the second round.
"Despite the complaints that the national team is not giving a spectacle, we showed against Australia that the team is improving," midfielder Ze Roberto said. "It's pointless to give a spectacle and lose."
"We knew we would have difficulties in the initial matches," captain Cafu added. "Against Brazil, the opponents seem to play much more motivated."
Parreira has said he is considering resting some of Brazil's players in its last group-stage match against Japan on Thursday, indicating he might field second-stringers to let some of the starters recover ahead of the second round.
Brazil had a light practice session at its new training camp in Bergisch Gladbach on Monday. The team's starters underwent physical training in the gym, while the reserves practiced on the field.