Reigning world cup football champions, Brazil, who will be going to West Germany for this summer's World Cup finals, to defend their title, had their first team work-our on Wednesday (20 March).
Reigning world cup football champions, Brazil, who will be going to West Germany for this summer's World Cup finals, to defend their title, had their first team work-our on Wednesday (20 March). Over thirty players and coaches were in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium - the world's largest - for a training session and practice game.
The three-time winners of the World Cup are joint favorites with West Germany for this year's championship, although they will be without the "blessed triangle" this year - Pele, Testao and Gersen. Three other players were absent from Wednesday's session - Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto and Paulo Cesar - but they are thought to be likely choices for the team. Their absence was due to muscle problems resulting from injuries.
Already national team coach Mario Zagalo has announced his list for the team: Felix, a 36-year-old international veteran, in goal; Carlos Alberto, Luis Pereira, Alfredo and Maco Antonio in defence; Clodoaldo, Rivelino and Paulo Cesar as midfield; and for forwards, Jarizinho, Leivinha and Eneias.
Brazil, placed in group 3, will play against Scotland, Yugoslavia and Zaire in the initial stages of the finals. Both Scotland and Yugoslavia are expected to field strong teams, and if Brazil is to win through into the semi-finals, the side will have to fight hard. As well as playing several thousand miles away from home, there will not be the highly emotional Brazilian crowds to cheer their team on. These two factors will go against the Brazilians', as well as the memory of their early elimination from the 1966 competition in England.