Vol. 5 Num 382 Fri. June 24, 2005  

Parriera enjoying it

Carlos Alberto Parreira left no one in any doubt that Brazil were intent on playing the role of party wrecker when they take on hosts Germany on Saturday.

The dream Confederations Cup semi-final in Nuremberg will be a no holds barred encounter with Parriera stressing his hunger for victory.

"I came here with two targets. One was to field 20 players in our three first games - the second was to qualify for the semi-finals.

"We've achieved both - now I'm finished watching players, I will play the best possible team against Germany.

"It was a calculated risk making changes, but there'll be no more experimenting now - we want to win this competition."

Brazil booked their Nuremberg date against Jurgen Klinsmann's team through the back door as Group B runners-up, on goal difference, having finished level on points with Japan with whom they drew 2-2 here on Wednesday night.

Assessing the upcoming match Parreira, in his third spell as Brazil coach, said: "It's going to be very difficult, it's always tough playing the home team.

"It's hugely important to Germany for next year. They rested some good players for their last game (against Argentina) and have also had a day extra to rest."

Parreira was visibly worried about the state of his players' health.

"My good players are exhausted, they've not played at the top level that we're used to here but it's understandable.

"Exhaustion can be both physical and mental, some are on a 25 day run without a break after the end of their domestic leagues and then straight on to World Cup qualifying and then here."

With that in mind Parreira gave his squad a day of rest at their base near Leverkusen on Thursday after Wednesday's tightly fought game.

Robinho, described as a national 'treasure' after his virtuoso performance in the opener last week, put Brazil ahead in the tenth minute before Shunsuke Nakamura levelled. Ronaldinho added Brazil's second before the break and the world champions looked to be heading for all three points before super sub Masashi Oguro came up with an 88th minute equaliser.

"I enjoyed the first half, but not so much the second," smiled Parreira.

Ronaldinho, acting as captain for the night, also pointed to some missed opportunities.

"The important thing is progressing, but we had bad luck.

"I believe that we created the better opportunities to win the match, but we did not take them. We need to start taking them."

Marcos replaced Dida in goal and he conceded he had not had a flawless game.

"I haven't played for 20 days and despite training, I felt a bit ring-rusty."

Hertha Berlin defender Gilberto is adamant Brazil can beat his adopted country.

"The German team had a bad time, but it is growing and some players are very successful. The match will be difficult, but we can win.

"We have techniques that the Germans don't have, but they know about them and that's why it's going to be hard to tough."