Connect to share and comment

Football: 'Heaven or hell' Brazil open training center

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was warned Wednesday he faces a trip to "hell" if his team flop at the World Cup, as he watched his squad's training complex inaugurated.

Brazilian Football Confederation chairman Jose Maria Marin opened the refurbished Granja Comary base at Teresopolis, a small town just north of Rio, and asked Scolari: "Is that to your liking?"

Scolari, the 2002 World Cup winning coach, replied: "Here we have just the conditions we need for great preparation as we go after our sixth world title."

However, Marin warned the onus was clearly on Brazil to deliver.

"We are in purgatory, as if we win the Cup then we go to heaven; but if we lose then we all go to hell. I've told Felipao that," he revealed.

'Felipao' will unveil Brazil's 23-man squad on May 7 and the hosts will kick off the World Cup in Sao Paulo on June 12 against Croatia.

Before that, he will gather the squad at Teresopolis on May 26.

Granja Comary is essentially a large hotel with luxurious surroundings and fine suites with facilities comprising a pool, a gym, spa, games rooms and also, naturally, football pitches.

"The players will find everything either as good if not better than what they are accustomed to with their clubs in Europe," Scolari acknowledged.

A further advantage of the site is that it is tucked away far from the crowds of supporters who will head for Rio or the other 11 venues during the tournaments.

Scolari has in any case ruled out public training sessions.

The center was first inaugurated in 1987 and has now been the base for five World Cups starting with 1990, Brazil winning in 1994 and 2002 after first holing up there.

Marin took pride in saying the remodeled center had taken just seven months "from scratch" -- without drawing a parallel on World Cup stadium projects which have overrun and taken several years.

"The (old) installations were obsolete," explained Marin.

After playing the Croatians, Brazil will meet Mexico on June 17 in Fortaleza and Cameroon six days later in Brasilia.

Ahead of the tournament, Brazil have friendlies against Panama in the central western city of Goiania on June 3 and Serbia in Sao Paulo on June 6.

jt/cw/dj/ps

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140326/football-heaven-or-hell-brazil-open-training-center