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We´re not favourites, insists Brazil skipper

SoccerNews in World Cup 12 Jun 2009

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Brazil captain Lucio insisted Friday they were not favourites to win the Confederations Cup but would do everything in their power to defend their title.

The five-time world champions jetted in Thursday following their 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Paraguay and are battling fatigue.

But Lucio was upbeat about their chances.

“We’re not the hot favourites, but the Brazilian national team has a lot of strength and ability too,” he told fifa.com.

“The Confederations Cup is a short tournament and so mental preparation is most important. This competition is over very quickly and the team who are the best prepared will be crowned champions.”

Brazil have been drawn against world champions Italy, United States and Egypt in the group stages here with the African champions their first opponents on Monday.

Lucio said their World Cup qualifying wins over Paraguay and Uruguay, which cemented their place at the top of the South American tables, boded well for their chances here.

“Even though this is a different competition, the two qualifying wins were very important,” he said.

“These results put us in the best possible frame of mind for the matches ahead. We’re going to fight for the title, that’s our goal.”

Coach Dunga has dropped AC Milan’s out-of-form Ronaldinho and is also missing Manchester United midfielder Anderson and Chelsea centre-back Alex, who are injured.

But he still has plenty of talent in his squad, with Manchester City’s Robinho leading the frontline along with Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano and AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato, with new Real Madrid signing Kaka the midfield kingpin.

“Brazil are Copa America holders and have been world champions five times,” said Dunga.

“That said, we’ve obviously got to respect Italy and Spain. The national teams here are all great sides.”

Following their match against Egypt, Brazil meet the USA in Pretoria next Thursday. But their real test will come in the clash with Italy, also in Pretoria, on June 21.

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