Teresopolis: Brazil have prepared dossiers on 16 possible opponents who could stand between them and a sixth World Cup, assistant manager Carlos Alberto Parreira said on Monday.
The three other teams in Group A, Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon, have been scouted and analysed for strengths and weaknesses.
All four Group B teams Australia, Chile, the Netherlands and Spain, one of whom could meet Brazil in the second round, have also been scouted by the team’s two main scouts Alexandre Gallo and Roque Junior.
Potential quarter-final and semi-final opponents have also been analysed. “Sixteen teams have been totally watched and scouted,” Parreira told reporters on Monday as Brazil’s players gathered for their first day of training at their base at the Granja Comary, 100 kilometres from Rio and where the team will remain for the duration of the June 12-July 13 tournament.
Brazil begin the World Cup against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12 and Parreira said he was confident the home side would leave the Maracana a month later with the trophy.
“The champions have arrived,” Parreira said shortly after the first players arrived at the camp. I trust these players,” he said. “We have the most expensive centre backs in the world. We have a brilliant team. We are favourites, of course, we are obliged to win, but being favourites isn’t enough, we have to be serious and win on the field.”
Earlier, the bus carrying the Brazilian squad to their first day of training on Monday was kicked and punched by demonstrators angry at what they consider exorbitant spending on football and not enough on social programmes.
A small group of striking teachers attacked the bus as it left Rio de Janeiro for the mountain town of Teresopolis, where the squad will be based during the tournament.
The teachers covered the bus with stickers as Barcelona players Neymar and Dani Alves looked on from inside.
When the bus arrived in Teresopolis, 100kms away, another group of around 30 people chanted anti-World Cup slogans.
Elsewhere, Romario launched another attack on Brazil’s organisation of the World Cup on Monday and accused former teammate Ronaldo of inconsistency.
The once deadly striker said comments by Ronaldo, who works on the tournament’s organising committee but professed himself embarrassed at Brazil’s shortcomings in an interview, were opportunism.
“Everyone knows what I stand for,” the outspoken federal deputy was quoted as saying by a leading Brazilian news website. “I don’t change sides depending on how the game is going.”