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Scolari welcomes tough Confederations Cup draw

New Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes the Confederations Cup will provide a stern challenge for his team.

The groups for the tournament were announced on Saturday and Brazil will face Italy, Mexico and Japan in the opening stages.

The 64-year-old, who was appointed Brazil boss on Thursday, feels the tournament will be a good opportunity to see how well his side can play – adding that they must cut out the mistakes they have been making recently.

“It is an interesting draw because the teams in our group are all very balanced. It is a good chance to see our potential in these matches,” Scolari said.

“We cannot choose who we are going to face in the first match but the order is not going to change our ambitions. We have to cut out any mistakes against those three teams.”

Brazil’s technical assistant Carlos Alberto Parreira echoed these thoughts and went on to say that the tournament will mainly be useful as an opportunity for the team to experiment.

He told SporTV: “This group does not give us any chance to make mistakes. It is very important to test the team in matches against Italy, Mexico and Japan, but the Confederations Cup is nothing more than a lab test.”

Meanwhile, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said beating Brazil will be the biggest challenge they face in the Confederations Cup.

The former Real Madrid boss has guided Spain to an undefeated run of 16 games this year with their last victory coming in a 5-1 friendly win over Panama.

And despite Brazil being far from their best, Del Bosque believes they could well prove to be the toughest team that they face in the tournament.

“Everyone says Brazil are not at their best, but personally I think they will be the team to beat,” he said.

Despite being up against Uruguay, Tahiti and the yet-to-be decided champions of Africa in the group stage, the 61-year-old insisted they would not be taking any of their opponents lightly.

“As we have won the World Cup and European Championship, there is a lot of expectation and responsibility surrounding us. What we have to do is make sure we are ready and respect every other team,” he said.

“Uruguay finished fourth in the World Cup two years ago. Whenever I have seen an African side play they have done well and we have to show Tahiti respect.”

Sat 1 December, 2012
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