Scolari tips Italy to challenge
By Football News
Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari says Italy have what it takes to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Scolari's side face Italy in an international friendly in Geneva on Thursday, as both countries prepare for the showcase tournament to be staged in Brazil next year.
Italy reached the final of Euro 2012, only to be outclassed 4-0 by Spain, but Scolari - who guided Brazil to their most recent World Cup triumph in 2002 - feels Cesare Prandelli's team will be realistic contenders when the tournament begins next June.
"I think Italy are among those six teams who, that I understand, have more possibilities to win the World Cup in 2014," he said.
"Italy can make a very big and important statement with technically very good players. They are Italy, a team with big tradition. With the modifications made by Prandelli, they adopt a very good standard of play and quality and will probably, in the World Cup, be one of the teams who could win the title.
Scolari said it was unlikely he would choose to start both Ronaldinho and Kaka against Italy, with the latter expected to get the nod at the Stade de Geneve.
"There is a possibility (that Ronaldinho and Kaka could play together) yes, but I prefer to give separate chances to both Ronaldinho and Kaka," he said.
"I gave one to Ronaldinho, and he will still be given further chances in the second and third games that lie ahead for Brazil.
"I am giving an opportunity to Kaka, and he will play in the next few matches. Then we will see if they can or cannot play together. Let's see if one will be chosen or neither."
Lazio midfielder Hernanes, a relative novice with just eight caps for Brazil, believes his experience of facing Juventus' Andrea Pirlo at club level will give him the edge this week.
"I know their game and it is all created around Pirlo," he said.
"Pirlo makes the team play, he controls the game. I can tell my colleagues what type of ball he likes, how he passes, how to press him and to not let him think.
"Their defence is also very good. I can say to our strikers to look for space, because they have three very strong defenders and we need to move a lot. That's what I can do to help my team-mates."