Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Pekerman and Parreira joust

Pekerman and Parreira joust.
Well, it may not have been head-to-head, presidential election style, but the coaches of the Confed finalists both entered the media fray after training on Tuesday and no one was talking about Velez Sarsfield or Santos.

Yesterday's big news was Adriano's recovery from an ankle problem picked up in training on Monday, as Brazil boss Carlos Alberto Parreira revealed that his starting line-up would remain unchanged.

Jose Pekerman revealed a clean bill of health too... although the accumulated strains of a long season have taken their inevitable toll: "There are some players who have had too many minutes on the field but they could all still play. There's no big injury.

"I know both sides will be tired but a final provides plenty of motivation."
Parreira concurred: "The players of both teams are very exhausted. They need to forget about their tiredness. The mental aspect will be key in this final."

Parreira dismissed suggestions that the World Cup defeat in Buenos Aires three weeks ago will have a bearing in Frankfurt.

"This is not about revenge for us... they did their homework and we did ours as we both won our home matches in qualifying.
"It is the first time two teams from South America will play in a final in Europe in an official competition. We want to take this trophy home - after all, we have won everything else!"

Parreira also laughed off one Argentinian assertion that he is lucky the opposition will lack Hernan Crespo, who scored twice in the June encounter.
"Let´s say we are even, as Argentina are lucky not to be facing Ronaldo, who has a pretty good record against you too!"

Out of three previous matches in Europe - during the 1974, 1982 and 1990 World Cup finals - Brazil have won one more, although Argentina won the last one, in Turin.

"Argentina and Brazil are two high-class footballing countries and we always want to play in matches such as this one," Pekerman said, taking care not to provoke any more pre-match frenzy than necessary. "A game like this is always going to be decided by ability and the motivation that comes with playing against another team of the highest quality. I think it will be another high-quality game."
Thanks, Jose - that may just persuade a couple more million to tune in... and for das purist´s round-up (hey, it´s just a name), see you at the same place on Thursday!

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