Brazil arrive in South Africa - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brazil arrive in South Africa

By David Legge 27/05/2010 06:02:16 PM Comments (0)

Brazil arrived in Johannesburg on Thursday to embark on a journey they hope will take them to a record sixth World Cup title.

Usually hot pre-tournament favourites wherever the quadrennial international football showcase is staged, Brazil have been downgraded by many bookmakers to second spot behind European champions Spain.

A crisp, clear dawn in the South African economic hub greeted the South Americans, who flew from Brasilia having been given an official send-off by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Landing 12 hours after the Socceroos became the first qualifiers to reach South Africa, Brazil followed the same procedure of restricted assess to select TV crews and photographers and no interviews.

The 23-man squad, coaches and officials boarded a brightly coloured luxury coach for a journey to a hotel in a northern suburb golf course and the five-time world champions plan to train at a nearby school.

Brazil are with 2006 semi-finalists Portugal, Didier Drogba-led Ivory Coast and tournament outsiders North Korea in Group G, labelled the 'Group of Death' after the Cape Town draw last December because of its strength.

And should a Brazilian squad boasting stars like Julio Cesar, Maicon, Kaka and Luis Fabiano match expectations and top the group, they could face fellow South American qualifiers Chile in the knockout second round.

The South Americans are no strangers to Johannesburg having won the World Cup dress-rehearsal Confederations Cup tournament there last June after wiping out a two-goal deficit against surprise finalists United States.

Coach Dunga, captain and midfield 'enforcer' in the 1994 World Cup-winning team, must hope he can banish the hoodoo that envelopes Confederations Cup title holders in the subsequent World Cup.

The curse has struck Brazil twice as they finished 1998 World Cup runners-up to Zinedine Zidane-inspired hosts France, and fell to `Les Bleus' again four years ago, this time in the quarter-finals.

No country is more passionate about football than Brazil and banks have been cleared to close when the national team faces North Korea on June 15, Ivory Coast five days later and Portugal a further five days into the tournament.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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