Brazil aiming for sixth title

12 June 2006 01:58
Brazil open their bid for a sixth World Cup crown against Group F rivals Croatia in Berlin's Olympiastadion. The South Americans arrived in Germany as the undoubted favourites to emerge victorious, with coach Carlos Alberto Parreria having a wealth of world-class players at his disposal. Any team boasting Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Adriano should have enough firepower to become world champions, but Parreira is well aware that there are other qualities needed for a triumph. He said: "You win a World Cup by having a team. Players can win a match, but not a tournament. "You need tactical organisation, discipline and, above all, a lot of work. Brazil would have played in every final if it was enough to win the World Cup with talent alone." Parreira has few injuries to worry about, with Ronaldo having got over a slight problem with blisters on his foot. Meanwhile, Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar opted to name his starting eleven well before the encounter, giving Stipe Pletikosa the nod as first-choice in goal. However, Kranjcar refuses to accept that Brazil are almost certain to win the game, saying: "We are not waving the white flag. There can be surprises. It would not be such a big surprise if we beat Brazil." Midfield veteran Igor Tudor played down his side's hopes more than his coach had done, adding: "Ninety-nine per cent of the world is saying Brazil are favourites. "A draw would be a success. It would be a sensation if we won." Striker Ivica Olic has been ruled out of the game due to a niggling thigh injury, leaving Ivan Klasnic and Dado Prso to spearhead the Croatia attack.

Source: ESA

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