International Friendly Preview: Mexico v. Brazil
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Borgetti's magic led Mexico past Brazil last time (Reuters)
Mexico and Brazil will clash in Guadalajara at Estadio Jalisco on Wednesday evening for the thirtieth time in their history, and who would have thought the Mexicans were unbeaten in their last three against Brazil. The two nations last met in the 2001 Copa America when an early Jared Borgetti header held up in Colombia. Earlier in the same year Mexico and Brazil played out a 3-3 draw in Guadalajara, and at the 1999 Confederations Cup Mexico bested Brazil 4-3. But overall the pentecampeao have won eighteen times in twenty-nine meetings since 1950.
Brazil manager Carlos Alberto Parreira will be looking to begin a new streak over the North American power, and has named a strong roster for the friendly. Among the invitees for Brazil are the precocious teenage duo from Santos, Diego Ribas de Cunha and Robson Souza, better known as Robinho. Fans attending the match will hope the highly sought-after pair will intermingle with Ronaldo and Ronaldinho on the pitch. The only other Madrid player in camp is Sergio Conceicao. Parreira has done a good job of mixing domestic and foreign stars.
Among the notable absentees is World Cup goalkeeper Marcos, who was dropped this week on the heels of an incredibly atrocious outing with his club side Palmeiras. The move is said to be based on fitness concerns, but nevertheless Julio Cesar was called in to compete for deputy honors alongside Milan's Dida. Roberto Carlos will be absent, because he is serving a ban after receiving a red card for pushing the referee during last month's friendly against Portugal.
For Mexico manager Ricardo La Volpe the only foreign players will be Monaco defender Rafael Marquez and Sevilla midfielder Gerardo Torrado. The rest will be domestic stalwarts like Borgetti from Santos, America midfielder Pavel Pardo and Toluca defender Salvador Carmona.
BRAZIL - Since defeating Germany to win their fifth World Cup Brazil have had poor results. Brazil suffered a 2-1 defeat to Portugal in late March when Brazilian-turned-Portuguese Deco fired home a free kick. Before that the samba kings were drawn 0-0 by China, defeated South Korea 3-2 on the strength of two Ronaldo goals, and lost to Paraguay 1-0 back in August. Parreira better start winning soon with Brazil or he might not survive the Confederations Cup this summer.
MEXICO - Mexico have only suited up three times since bowing out to rivals USA at the World Cup. Last month Mexico drew Paraguay 1-1 in California, and in February the tricolores fell to Argentina 1-0 before drawing Colombia 0-0. After Brazil, Mexico get a rematch against USA May 8th in Houston, Texas.
MEXICO - GK: Oswaldo Sánchez (Guadalajara), Jos?de Jesús Corona (Atlas); D: Rafael Márquez (Monaco); Jos?Antonio Castro (America), Salvador Carmona (Toluca), Duilio Davino (America), Omar Briseńo (Tigres), Ramón Heriberto Morales (Guadalajara); MF: Octavio Valdéz (Toluca), Pavel Pardo (America), Juan Pablo Rodríguez (Atlas), Israel López (Toluca), Luis Ernesto Pérez (Monterrey), Ramón Morales (Guadalajara), Alberto Medina (Guadalajara); F: Jared Borgetti (Santos), Omar Bravo (Guadalajara), Eduardo Rergis (Atlante), Irving Rubirosa (Atlante), Jesús Arellano (Monterrey).
Technical Director: Ricardo La Volpe
BRAZIL - GK: Dida (AC Milan), Julio Cesar (Flamengo); D: Anderson Polga (Gremio), Athirson (Flamengo), Belletti (Villareal), Edmilson (Olympique Lyon). Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Junior (Parma), Luisao (Cruzeiro); MF: Diego (Santos), Emerson (Roma), Sergio Conceicao (Real Madrid), Juninho (Olympique Lyon), Kleberson (Atletico-PR
), Ronaldinho (Paris S.G.), Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich); F: Adriano (Parma), Amoroso (Dortmund), Robinho (Santos), Ronaldo (Real Madrid).
Technical Director: Carlos Alberto Parreira