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No shake-out: Parreira

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, already beginning to feel the heat after only two matches in charge, ruled out major changes to the squad in the next few months.

Parreira, under increasing pressure to bring in some of Brazil’s younger talent after two lacklustre displays by the world champions, admitted that some players were being picked for the experience rather than current form.

But he said experience would count when the South American qualifying competition for the 2006 World Cup gets underway in September.

“If I just looked at the performances of the players who are based abroad, I wouldn’t pick half of them,” Parreira said as he named 16 foreign-based players for this month’s friendly international away to Mexico.

“But the important thing is that they are established and we have a lot of confidence in these players.”

“We can get off to a good start in the qualifiers with the base of the World Cup team. After that, maybe we can start changing things,” he said.

The five-time World Cup winners have drawn 0-0 away to China and lost 1-2 to Portugal since Parreira took over in January as the long-term replacement for Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The more experienced players were criticised for lethargic performances in those games and Brazilians are eager to see players such as the two Santos teenagers Diego and Robinho given a run in the team.

There were no major surprises in the squad with Rivaldo and Ronaldo both keeping their places. The major absentee is full-back Roberto Carlos, who has been provisionally suspended by Fifa after being sent off against Portugal for shoulder-charging the referee.

“I didn’t like the result against Portugal,” Parreira said, adding that he was satisfied with Rivaldo’s performances but that Ronaldo was not at his best.

“Rivaldo’s performance was reasonable-to-good,” he said.

Parreira, who led Brazil to their fourth World Cup win in 1994 and is in charge for the third time, added that, at the end of the day, Brazil would not be judged on their performances in friendly matches. “We arrive (for friendlies) on Monday, train on Tuesday and play on Wednesday. You can’t expect miracles. The friendlies are not going to damage the credibility of the world champions or the team staff,” he said.

“The team will find its way in the qualifiers. We are keeping the same core because we know how difficult the qualifiers can be. We won the World Cup in 2002 but we lost five times in the qualifiers (for 2002)”

Brazil face Mexico in Guadalajara on April 30. The home-based players will be named next week.

THE SQUAD

Goalkeeper: Dida (AC Milan)

Defenders: Edmilson (Olympique Lyon), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Cafu (AS Roma), Belletti (Villareal), Junior (Parma)

Midfielders: Juninho Pernambucano (Olympique Lyon), Emerson (AS Roma), Flavio Conceicao (Real Madrid), Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich), Ronaldinho (Paris St Germain)

Forwards: Adriano (Parma), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Rivaldo (AC Milan), Amoroso (Borussia Dortmund).

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