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Brazil team arrives in Switzerland

Brazil's World Cup squad started to arrive in Switzerland on Monday for a two week training camp before heading to Germany.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 15:16 IST

Brazil's World Cup squad started to arrive in Switzerland on Monday for a two-week training camp before heading to Germany ahead of the June 9-July 9 football showpiece.

The first arrivals were AC Milan pair Cafu and Dida followed by Arsenal's Gilberto Silva and Real Madrid's Ronaldo as hoards of journalists and fans gathered around their hotel.

The five-time winners, who are heading in from around Europe and Brazil, will be all together by Monday night before undergoing medical tests on Tuesday and their first training session on Wednesday.

Their first warm-up match is on May 30 against FC Lucerne before tackling New Zealand on June 4.

"The core of the team has already been decided a long time ago and (coach Carlos Alberto) Perreira knows all the players," said young forward Fred, who is not expected to be a first-team starter.

"The time spent in Weggis will simply serve to iron out some details," he added.

The Brazil-based players were accorded a low-key send off when they left from the capital Brasilia.

For the first time, Parreira's defending champions flew out for a World Cup final without any official leaving ceremony.

The plane carrying the South Americans to their training camp in Switzerland was decked out with five stars representing each of their world titles in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.

Real Madrid striker Robinho, competing in his first World Cup, said, "Ever since I was a kid I've dreamt of playing for the national side and I'm very happy."

Brazil will face Australia, Japan and Croatia in Group F as they go in search of a record-breaking sixth title.

First Published: May 23, 2006 15:16 IST