(WFI) As World Cup excitement builds in Brazil, the national team’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is preparing to unveil his first squad for the tournament on Wednesday.
Scolari will choose 30 players but has said he already knows the 23 who will be in his final squad for the FIFA showpiece, which will be selected in early June.
The 2002 World Cup-winning coach has already confirmed Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Cesar, Fred, Paulinho, Oscar, Ramires and Willian as certainties to make the team. Neymar will be there too. Fernandinho, Lucas Leiva, Hernanes and Philippe Coutinho are among others vying for places.
The final squad of 23 will be involved in June friendlies against Panama and Serbia before Brazil kick off the tournament against Croatia at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. Mexico and Cameroon are also opponents at the group stage.
Brazil hope to be crowned world champions for a sixth time on July 13.
Successful Test at Natal Stadium
Natal’s Arena das Dunas was subject to another rigorous test of its operations on Saturday when ABC defeated America-RN 2-0 in a Brazilian second division championship match.
In all, the Brazil 2014 LOC tested 10 operational areas at the match, more than at any another test event staged this year: cleaning and waste management, transport, spectator services, volunteers, media operations, catering, technology, competitions, medical services and safety and security.
The crowd of just over 10,000 witnessed some of the organisational aspects that will be rolled out at the World Cup, such as the organisation of queues at the turnstiles and the services provided by volunteers.
Brazil 2014 LOC stadium operations manager Tiago Paes said the operation went smoothly thanks to the fact the Arena has been in regular use since January, according to FIFA.com.
“The fact that 19 events have been held here in Natal really helped us with our operations,” he said.
The next Brazil 2014 test event will be held this Saturday at the Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, where Internacional will take on Atletico-PR in a Brazilian first division championship match.
Other test events scheduled are
Curitiba, 14 May: Atletico-PR v (TBC), friendly
Sao Paulo, 17 or 18 May: Corinthians v Figueirense, Brazilian first division
Brasilia, 17 May: Goias v Botafogo, Brazilian first division
Manaus will also host a test event, though the date and the teams taking part have yet to be finalised.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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