We want to play the beautiful game
again, says Menezes

ABU DHABI — Brazil coach Mano Menezes was pleased with his new-look squad after his team beat Iran in an international football friendly.

By James Jose

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Published: Sat 9 Oct 2010, 11:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:34 AM

Goals from Daniel Alves, Pato and substitute Nilmar gave the five-time World Champions a 3-0 win at the Zayed Sports City on Thursday night.

Menezes, who took over from Dunga after the 2010 World Cup where they went down to The Netherlands, is in the process of rebuilding the squad.

Menezes called up AC Milan’s Robinho, FC Barcelona’s Daniel Alves, Ramires, Thiago Silva, apart from Pato, who was ignored for the World Cup. The squad also has some new, young players.

He was pleased with the victory against Iran with another friendly coming up against Ukraine in Derby, England on Monday. But the 48-year-old said bigger battles await the ‘A Selecao.’

“The changes have come along well. We are developing new players. It means we have to play against good quality teams. With due respect to Iran and Ukraine, we have to look at the two games coming up against Argentina. It is important to play against different levels of teams. Tonight was a different level in a warm place. It was good for us to play against different levels and in different conditions,” Menezes said.

The friendlies are a series of matches for Brazil. They played USA and FC Barcelona in an unofficial friendly and now Iran. They play Ukraine in Derby, England followed by two games against rivals Argentina in Qatar and La Plata, Argentina before taking on France in Saint-Denis. They wind up the world tour with a game against Germany in Stuttgart.

But Menezes also praised Iran, and said: “Even if both teams are on different levels, tactically, Iran played really well. It was a good game. My expectations were less but I was happy with what I saw.” Menezes said that his aim was to bring Brazil back to where it was—at the top.

“The responsibility is big. We have to give it back to the Brazilian fans and play the beautiful game again. The World Cup will be held in Brazil and we have to convince the fans. We have to give opportunities to new players, young players. We need to win games. Success is important. I have picked these young players and trust a lot in them and they are answering to the expectations. Brazil will always be Brazil. Spain have a different style of play and they played their style and won the World Cup. The main thing for us is to give it back to the fans,” he said.

Some names don’t feature in the squad but Menezes said the door was still open for them. “We haven’t closed the door to anybody. The door is still open to everyone. But now, we have to build a team for the future,” said Menezes.

About the game being held in Abu Dhabi, Menezes said: “We could have played this game in Brazil or Iran. But the most important thing is what happens on the pitch and not the political side of it. Football has the power to change things and send nice messages,” he said.

Iran had a goal disallowed in the fifth minute of the game when Mohammed Gholami attempt was ruled offside. But Menezes didn’t want to be drawn into it. “I don’t want to comment on the referees. I did not see the replays. But that is part of the game. Against USA, it was against us but referees don’t have a big influence on a match result,” Menezes said.

james@khaleejtimes.com



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