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Scolari rubbishes Barcelona comparison

New Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has downplayed any similarities between his side and Barcelona.

Scolari’s team, who do not have to go through the series of World Cup qualifiers because they are hosting the competition, will instead take part in the Confederations Cup next year.

And Scolari, back for his second stint at the helm of the national team, is adamant his side will play to their strengths as they prepare for 2014.

“If we try to import players like (Andres) Iniesta, Xavi and (Lionel) Messi, then we would play just like Barcelona. But these aren’t anything like Brazilian players,” the 2002 World Cup-winning coach said.

“We have to build a team that can play good football, but, at the same time, we must respect each player’s characteristics.

“We have an identity, but we have to know what to do about the characteristics that every player can bring.”

Scolari said playing in the qualifying stages could have benefitted his side, but believes the Confederations Cup will help him create a suitable system for his side.

“This stage of identifying the team’s strengths will suffer because of the fact that we aren’t in the qualifiers,” he said.

“We have quality players, and I don’t agree when it is said that this team is too young. It’s a great team, but we are missing more challenging opponents.

“In 2002, we had a team well organised, and we had a system. We’ll build that while we play our friendlies and (in) the Confederations Cup.”

The former Portugal and Kuwait coach, whose first task in charge of Brazil will be a friendly against England in February next year, said the Confederations Cup was important for his side.

“It will give us a base on what we need from this team,” Scolari said.

“It’s a fine opportunity, with challenging matches. As we don’t participate in the qualifiers, this will be good to analyse how our players react in big matches.”

Fri 30 Nov, 2012
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