No Neymar, Ganso for Brazil-Denmark friendly

25 May 2012 04:17

Brazil will be without Neymar and Ganso for their friendly match with Denmark in Hamburg on Saturday, as the 2014 World Cup hosts prepare for the tournament against a side hoping for success at Euro 2012.

Brazil and Denmark have won once each in their two previous encounters. The Danes won 4-0 in Copenhagen in June 1989 while Brazil were 3-2 victors in the 1998 World Cup quarter-finals in France.

After a 2011 season marred by their shock exit from the Copa America to lowly Paraguay in the quarter-final, the Selecao are playing only their second match of the year after a less-than-convicing 2-1 victory over Bosnia some three months ago.

Neymar and Ganso were given permission by the Brazil football federation (CBF) to play in Santos' quarter-final Copa Libertadores clash with Velez Sarsfield of Argentina.

Ganso, who has a knee injury, may also miss the next three friendly matches against the United States on May 30 in Washington, Mexico on June 3 in Dallas and Argentina six days later in New Jersey.

Coach Mano Menezes, however, will be able to count on the Real Madrid defender Marcelo, Porto Alegre forward Leandro Damian, Porto's Hulk and central defender David Luiz, who was part of Chelsea's successful Champions League-winning side.

AC Milan forward Pato was named in the squad on Thursday and said that he was "ready and physically strong" after more than a month out with a leg injury.

Brazil will be looking to shake off the disappointment of their previous visits to Germany, when they went out in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup to France and lost to Germany 3-2 in a friendly last August.

Danish coach Morten Olsen is using the match to fine-tune his final 23 for Poland and Ukraine, although goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, defenders Simon Kjaer (Roma) and Daniel Agger (Liverpool) seem assured of places, as does Ajax's Christian Eriksen.

Denmark have been drawn in the so-called "group of death" with the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal.

The tiny Scandinavian country pulled off a shock win in the 1992 European championships after being called up at the last minute when Yugoslavia was excluded from the competition.

Source: AFP