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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Brazil's 4-0 win over Malaysia on Saturday extended their unbeaten run to seven games, but the four times world champions still look unlikely to set the World Cup alight.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who took over 11 months ago with the world's favourite team in danger of missing the finals for the first time, has averted disaster by securing qualification.

His team, however, still looked far from the finished article as they brushed aside their opponents from South-East Asia.

There is certainly little indication that they will play with the exuberant attacking skill which the world, perhaps unfairly, routinely expects Brazil to produce at the World Cup.

Ronaldo's joy at scoring his first international goal since returning from two years out through injury was tempered by the three clear-cut chances he missed before breaking his duck early in the second half.

He may find that the defences of Turkey, China and Costa Rica do not give him so many bites at the cherry.

His strike partner Rivaldo played his first game for a month and showed no signs of the troublesome knee injury which forced him to miss the end of Barcelona's season.

That was the good news.

The downside was that in his 63 minutes on the field, Rivaldo once again gave ammunition to the critics who argue that he saves his best for his Spanish club and turns into a lethargic, ponderous player when he wears a Brazil shirt.

ELECTRIC DENILSON

The Brazilian media are already wondering whether Denilson's electric half hour after coming on as a substitute, which included a superb individual goal, has put Rivaldo's place in doubt.

Other familiar problems remained, including captain Emerson's lack of ideas in midfield and a general shortage of creativity attributed to the much-criticised 3-5-2 formation.

Even Paris St Germain's Ronaldinho, who won a place in the team with excellent performances in friendlies against Yugoslavia and Portugal, seemed out of sorts on Saturday.

Scolari, however, said that Brazil would continue to start games with his new system.

"We have been training both systems (3-5-2 and 4-4-2) so that when we have the chance or when the need arises, we can switch from one to the other," he said.

"We will continue to start with the 3-5-2 because we are more compact and it gives more freedom to the full-backs (Cafu and Roberto Carlos)."

"The reason Denilson was able to dribble around everyone and perform his tricks was because we had worn them down with the 3-5-2 in the first half."

Scolari pointed to poor finishing and a lack of marking by the strikers as Brazil's biggest weaknesses against Malaysia.

"The big difficulty was our strike rate in the first half. In the second half, we took our chances," he said.

BETTER MARKING

"We also need our forwards to mark better when the opposition is trying to play the ball out of defence, to stop them getting into our half of the field."

Persuading players like Ronaldo and Rivaldo to get their hands dirty has been one of Scolari's main tasks over the last fortnight.

Brazil are looking far more solid than the team which used 60 players in World Cup qualifiers and suffered defeats to teams such as Bolivia, Honduras and Ecuador.

Scolari insists his team will reach the semifinals, at the very least, and his players have also been sounding messages of unbridled optimism.

Roberto Carlos even claimed that Brazil need only to play at 40 percent of their capabilities to beat Turkey in their opening match on June 3.

Despite the brave words, it seems that, rather like the small contingent of Brazilian fans who were banned from taking drums and horns into the Bukit Jalil stadium on Saturday, the traditional spark is definitely missing.
 

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Felipao Scolari is starting to see the light guys, He is going to play Denilson instead of Rivaldo. and He's going to play Juninho Paulista instead of Klebberson and only use one defensive midfeilder which will be Emerson, the capitao. Sure, Rivaldo is never that great for the Selecao but really I don't buy that crapolla about how he tries more for FC Barcelona then Brazil, stop that nonsense really.

Kaka may get some minutes as a super-sub afterall if Paulista turns up to be Ronaldinho Gaucho's partner instead of playing with 2 DMC's, great news. I am extremelly proud of Big Phil right now, all we need now is for it to be confirmed. :happy:
 

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Patrck,

don't be silly...Felipao will not bench Rivaldo unless he is injured in which case he would start Edilson and play R Gaucho in Rivaldo's position. Denilson is best used as a super sub.

And yes for the past year or two, Rivaldo has indeed played better/harder for Barcelona than he has for Brazil.
 

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Don't be silly? ask Ze da fiel if you want. It's obvious right now even Scolari doesn't know who he's gonna pick and Denilson will be the one picked. Injury free or not Rivaldo is physically and mentally doesn't seem phsyched for the World Cup, seriously.

Yes sure he has played better for Barca, but like many people say he does it on purpose I don't think so, ever think that he fits in better with Barcelona's style of play?
 

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I think Rivaldo will start, but Denilson will get his position if he does not perform......that is almost a certainty in the second half, were Denilson has virutally revolutionized every single game he has come on!;)
 

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Denilson is capable of replacing anyone in attack...that is why he's so valuable. But he's not the playmaker Rivaldo is expected to be. So tactically, if Rivaldo has to be dropped either R gaucho will drop back while Edilson comes on or J paulista/Kaka might come on for Rivaldo. Denilson's place is on the left wing. Depending on how the game is going Denilson will come on when we need more defense from RC and we are having trouble holding on to the ball.

While we may see a rivaldo/swap during a game, you will never a see Denilson playing in rivaldo's position.
 

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Billi,
Tha is the main problem: What is Rivaldo's position?? I think not even he knows anymore! Felipao was really angry withhim ater the Malaysia game as Rivaldo was cmoing back too much and interfering in the space of Ronaldinho Gaucho. Ronalidnho is the play maker now, not Rivaldo who wasted every chance he had!

But to me it should be:

Ronaldo Edilson

Ronaldinho Kaka

Denilson second half on the place of Kaka!....... but with whatever players we use we can make it!;)
 

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Barçelona liked to play Rivaldo on the left wing, but he always complained, saying he'd rather play in a more forward position in center.
 

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Eventough Rivaldo may not have been brillant for la Selecçao, i'm convinced 300% he will give his absolute best because this is the World Cup!It doesn't get any bigger than that. This is his chance to redeem himself to all of Brasil and for him, his unique chance to be remembered as one of the greatest ever by being brillant in the World Cup.

A World Cup game is a totally different thing than a lousy friendly or Eliminatorias match. Watch out for Rivaldo, he may well be in his form of his life. As a matter of fact, plus time goes by, plus this Brasilian team scares me more than any other teams!:eek: They may have gone through a bad period last year with all the crap they've faced, but in the World Cup, all the Canarinos will be simply galvanized and metamorphosed. So world watch out, as Brasil is still Brasil and we all know what that means...:eek:

FORCA BRASIL!(until you meet us, that is...;) ).
 
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