Brazil's globetrotting national team is cutting back on its travel,
going so far as to cut out all home friendlies.
After the Brazilian soccer federation (CBF) signed a $369 million deal
with Nike in 1996, Brazil toured the world, building its brand as
soccer's most famous national team. But European clubs objected to the
wear and tear on its Brazilian stars, particularly during South
America's marathon World Cup qualifying tournament.
As part of a deal to drop their opposition to the 18-game World Cup
qualifying system, European clubs got the CBF to agree to play all
international friendlies in or near Europe.
CBF president Ricardo Teixeira
told Brazilian reporters the agreement to only play friendlies within
four or five hours' flying time of
Europe would rule out friendly games at home.
''This makes it impossible for us to play in South America or Asia,'' he
In recent months, Brazil has played neighbor Argentina in London and
Stockholm. The five-time world champions are unbeaten in five games --
four wins and a tie -- under new coach Dunga.
For the next game on Nov. 15 at Switzerland, only one home-based player
was selected -- Santos reserve left back Carlinhos.
The squad included players from nine different European countries:
Spain (8 players), Germany (3), Italy (2), Portugal (2), England (1),
France (1), Netherlands (1), Russia (1) and Ukraine (1).
Dunga has been using the games to give new players a look. For the
Swiss game, Dunga has called up Diego,
who has helped Werder Bremen open up a three-point lead in the German
(Click here for Dunga's latest Brazil squad.)
Goalies -- Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Helton (Porto); Defenders --
(Bayern Munich), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen), Luisao (Benfica), Alex (PSV),
Daniel Alves, Adriano (both Sevilla), Maicon (Inter Milan),
Carlinhos (Santos); Midfielders -- Gilberto Silva (Arsenal), Edmilson
Fernando (Bordeaux), Dudu Cearense (CSKA Moscow), Elano (Shakhtar
Donetsk), Diego (Werder Bremen), Kaka, Ronaldinho (Barcelona); Forwards
(Real Madrid), Daniel Carvalho, Rafael Sobis (Real Betis), Ricardo
Oliveira (AC Milan).
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