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Brazil won't be in top form for opener: Parreira

Brazil coach says that the team needs to improve from the first match else it will not be able to win the title.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 16:57 IST

Brazil will debut at the World Cup in Germany without having reached its full potential, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said on Thursday.

"We won't be at an ideal level," Parreira said.

"But that's normal. It's impossible to begin the competition in perfect form. We have to remember the national team hasn't played since last October, in eight months. We can't make miracles."

Brazil, seeking a record sixth World Cup title, will play its opening match against Croatia on June 13 in Berlin. The defending champions begin their pre-tournament preparation on Monday.

"Our goal is to create a solid base so the team is able to improve during the competition," Parreira said. "We are thinking long term, after the first stage, when we won't be allowed to lose anymore."

Brazil - considered by most the favorite for the title - is in Group F along with Croatia, Australia and Japan.

"Brazil will be prepared to face anybody, but if the team doesn't improve during the tournament it won't win the title," Parreira said.

The coach said the second round could be the most complicated for Brazil.

"We will be coming off a stage where you can lose but still advance," Parreira said. "It will require a lot of responsibility."

Likely opponents for Brazil in the second round include Italy, the United States and the Czech Republic.

Parreira also said he expects Ronaldo to be extremely motivated for the tournament, and that he's not worried about Adriano, 'who is very happy here (in the national team).'

The coach went on to say he strongly supports veteran defenders Roberto Carlos and Cafu, whom he considers 'experienced, not old.'

"They will be starters in the World Cup because they have been playing well and are in good physical condition," Parreira said.

The 35-year-old Cafu will be playing in his fourth consecutive World Cup, while the 33-year-old Roberto Carlos will be in his third.

Brazil will play two friendlies - against FC Lucerne on May 30 in Basel and against New Zealand in Geneva on June 4 - before debuting in the World Cup.

First Published: May 26, 2006 16:57 IST