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Brazil to start WC with 'magic quartet'

Coach said that Brazil would play its first match with the 'magic quartet' setup, which comprises of Ronaldinho, Kaka, Adriano and Ronaldo.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 15:20 IST

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 on 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," he said.

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 month long 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 favourite, 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 club level.

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.

First Published: May 24, 2006 15:20 IST