Psychology key for Brazil in 2014 says Parreira

Brasilia: Brazil will need to prepare psychologically for the huge pressure they will face as World Cup hosts in 2014, when a second failure on home soil is simply not an option, former coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said.

Parreira, who steered Brazil to their fourth world title in 1994 after a 24-year drought, felt the weight of expectation himself and told Reuters it would be worse in four years` time.

The 67-year-old knows the size of the task facing Brazil, who were shocked by Uruguay in the deciding match of their previous home finals in 1950.

"We`ll be coming from two defeats in the 2006 and 2010 Cups and you can be sure the pressure will be very big on the national team. It will be a huge responsibility," Parreira said in an interview.

"We`ve already lost one World Cup at home and we can`t lose a second one at home, we can`t allow that to happen," said Parreira, who is in line to take on a role in new coach Mano Menezes`s technical staff.

"That`s going to put gigantic pressure (on the players) and, as well as technical preparation, we`ll have to have a very big psychological preparation."

Such concern has already been voiced by Menezes, who said after his appointment as Dunga`s successor last month that he plans to have a psychologist working alongside him.

Parreira added the buildup to 2014 would be harder with Brazil going through a radical renewal of the team and knowing that by then they will have gone 12 years without winning the title.

"After two failures a renewal is almost mandatory for the coach. A new cycle always opens when you lose," said Parreira, who is resting at home after coaching South Africa at their World Cup.

New Hopes

Parreira, in charge again when Brazil lost their 2006 quarter-final to France in Germany, was encouraged by Menezes`s debut in a friendly against United States in New Jersey last month which Brazil won 2-0.

With youngsters like Neymar, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Alexandre Pato, the team played the attacking football fans and media demanded of Dunga`s side that lost to Netherlands in this year`s quarter-finals.

"I liked the new faces, the new players. We don`t lack quality. Brazil is the best country for a renewal.

"Now we have to give those lads a run-in and experience before the Cup," Parreira said, adding there was room for 2010 World Cup players like Kaka, Robinho, Daniel Alves, Ramires and Thiago Silva.

Another problem will be the lack of competitive matches for Brazil who, as World Cup hosts, will not take part in the South American qualifiers.

Despite difficulties like taking the team to high altitude venues in Bolivia and Ecuador and bringing a large majority of squad members all the way back from Europe, Parreira said the marathon qualifying campaign was essential for team building.

"At first I was against the qualifiers because of the difficulties and toll they took. Later I changed my mind and realised they were essential," he said.

Without the qualifiers, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) will have to take full advantage of opportunities like the Copa America in Argentina next year and the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013, he said.

"The CBF will have to prepare a good list of friendlies with strong opponents until 2014. It`s important to play more (matches) in Brazil and for that the CBF will have to work hard and negotiate a lot. They have to already feel the climate."

Bureau Report

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