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Brazil does not keep him ‘awake at night’

December 11th, 2009

20101worldcuplogoPortugal coach Carlos Queiroz said Wednesday in Brazil that he is not scared of playing the winner of five World Cups in the first round of South Africa 2010. “Nobody keeps me awake at night. Brazil have excellent players that can make a difference at any moment, but I have to focus on my team’s ability to always be a step ahead of the Brazilian national team,” Queiroz told a football forum in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil and Portugal are set to play the first round of the 2010 World Cup in Group G, alongside Ivory Coast and North Korea.

Queiroz recalled that his men suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat last time they played Brazil, but he noted the November 2008 friendly on Brazilian soil taught Portugal lessons that will be valuable in South Africa.

“We cannot play like we did in the last friendly, with the team wide open, not focused and disorderly. We will not do that again in the World Cup,” Queiroz said.

The forum had been organized by South Africa’s Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Queiroz was generous in his praise for Brazil coach Carlos Dunga.

“This Brazilian team plays with concentration, with discipline, with everyone working to get the ball, something that is not usual in Brazil. That team shows Dunga’s reflection in the minds of all players, which I regard as a great virtue,” he said.

Queiroz declined to predict which teams will make it to the second round of play in South Africa.

“There are still six months ahead, and we will have to see how the main players reach the World Cup,” he said.

Queiroz recalled that France were the main candidates for the title in South Korea-Japan 2002 but crashed out in the first round, because their main stars, Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henri, “got there in appalling condition, totally destroyed, and France suffered because of that.”

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