The coach of Brazil’s Olympic soccer team said he leaves for the 2012 Summer Games in London with “much more confidence” than he had for the 2011 Copa America and already has a firm starting lineup.
“When you start organizing, the whole project starts to take shape and you have a more objective idea of the team’s capabilities. We could see that in the final friendly matches and now we have to nail it down in the home stretch,” Mario Menezes told a press conference.
The coach said he likes living with the pressure of the job and getting results.
The Brazilian national squad has set as its goal winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold in soccer.
Menezes said that the starting lineup he will field on Friday against Britain in the squad’s only pre-Olympic friendly will be the same he used in training this week: Rafael Cabral; Rafael Pereira, Juan, Thiago Silva, Marcelo; Sandro, Romulo, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk and Leandro Damião.
The Brazilian team will arrive in London on Tuesday morning and will debut in the Olympics against Egypt on July 26 in Cardiff.
Three days later the South Americans will play Belarus in Manchester and will close the first round against New Zealand on Aug. 1 in Newcastle.