Brazil's football squad of 22 players for the World Cup in Munich, West Germany in June, were presented to newsmen in Rio de Janeiro on Monday (4 March).
Brazil's football squad of 22 players for the World Cup in Munich, West Germany in June, were presented to newsmen in Rio de Janeiro on Monday (4 March). The presentation came at the end of a week's medical, strength and endurance tests.
Brazil, the World Cup holders are equal favourites with West Germany, the hosts, to win it again this year. The squad face four months' intensive training at the resort of Gavea on the outskirts of Rio and nine "rehearsal" matches in six weeks against international sides.
Through age or injury, Brazil has lost its "blessed triangle" of the attacking maestro Pele, Tostao and the 1970 captain, Gerson. But they have new potential international stars like Pereira an immense centre back. The veteran goalkeeper Felix-one of the 1970 heros - is still in the squad, as is free-kick expert Riveline and the exciting front runner Jairzinho.
Brazil lost to Italy in their recent European tour and more surprisingly to Sweden, but those have been their only defeats since 1970.
Brazil is considered the strongest of the four Latin American teams to play at Munich. But national team coach, Mario Zagalo, has described this as Brazil's most difficult World Cup to date.
Mr. Zagalo thinks Brazil will be playing against well-established sides while his squad still lacks team spirit. But West German Manager, Helmut Schoen, has said "If I were Zagalo I would be hopeful not worried."
Brazil play the first game of the 1974 World Cup against Yugoslavia on June 13.