Scolari refuses to be drawn on axed Kaka

March 06, 2014 - 8:54:39 am
SOWETO, South Africa: Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari gave no hints yesterday when asked if out-of-favour veteran midfielder Kaka (pictured), was still part of his 2014 World Cup plans.

“Every Brazilian has the same opportunity as everyone else to make the squad,” he told reporters in Soweto ahead of a friendly against South Africa there Wednesday. Now at AC Milan, Kaka, 31, was dropped for the fifth meeting between the countries with the ‘Selecao’ winning all the previous games by one-goal margins. Brazil triumphed 3-2 in Soweto, 2-1 and 1-0 in Johannesburg, and 1-0 in Sao Paulo two years ago with substitute striker Hulk snatching a late winner. Former Chelsea manager Scolari did offer hope to Kaka and other fringe contenders, saying he would watch matches in Brazil and Europe before his May 7 squad announcement.

“I will watch and talk to players at home and abroad and then choose my 23 for the World Cup. Our ambition is to win the tournament and the preparations are on track.” Brazil are hosting the June 12-July 13 quadrennial international football showpiece and are the media favourites to secure a record-extending sixth title.

Scolari said he would rely on videos and assistant Carlos Alberto Parreira for information about South Africa, who shocked World Cup holders Spain 1-0 in a Soweto friendly last November.

“Everything I know about South Africa is from videos I have watched,” he said, “and Carlos has given me valuable insights.”

Parreira, who guided Brazil to the 1994 World Cup title in Los Angeles, coached hosts South Africa at the 2010 tournament.

Scolari is also a World Cup winner, guiding the football-obsessed nation to their fifth crown in Japan 12 years ago.AFP