Brazil starts preparations for Confederations Cup

August 15th, 2012 - 5:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janerio, Aug 15 (IANS) Brazil’s friendly football match against Sweden Wednesday will be the start of the “final straight” in their preparations for next year’s Confederations Cup, according to coach Mano Menezes.

Barcelona defender Daniel Alves and Chelsea pair David Luiz and Ramires are the main additions to the team that lost the Olympic final 1-2 to Mexico Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo will miss the match in Stockholm due to suspension while Rafael da Silva (Manchester United) and Juan (Inter Milan) have been omitted.

“We are in the final straight in terms of defining the team,” Menezes said Tuesday.

“I always said that after the Olympics we would start to work towards an idea, even though most of the group has been retained from the London Games.”

The Confederations Cup, to be played in Brazil next year, will feature each of FIFA’s continental champions in addition to World Cup winner Spain and Brazil as the host nation.

The tournament is considered a warm-up for the World Cup the following year.

Menezes admitted Brazil had plenty of scope for improvement following the Olympic final disappointment.

“We have to play better than we did (against Mexico),” Menezes said.

“We have the capacity to play convincingly as we showed in the series of friendly matches before the Olympics.”

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