Reuters - Thu, 11 Mar 09:19:00 2010
South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is hoping his team will learn to play the 'Brazilian way' at the World Cup finals after a month-long training camp in his homeland.
Parreira, who brought a squad of 29 to the Brazil team's Teresopolis training centre, said South Africa would play a series of friendlies against club sides to warm up for the World Cup and become imbued with the Brazilian game.
"The idea of bringing them here is because this is the cradle of world football," former Brazil coach Parreira, who steered his country to the fourth of their five world crowns in 1994, said.
"Great world champion players with the Brazilian national team have trained here. I want that to act as an inspiration for our players," he said.
Parreira said South African soccer suffers from the many different styles of their club sides, a reflection of the coaches of a variety of nationalities who work there.
"South African football doesn't have an image, it has several identities, there are trainers from various parts of the world," he said.
"Our (Brazilian) great quality is to put the ball on the ground, so there is nothing better than to play in Brazil, against Brazilian teams, so (South African players) get that feeling of the ball on the ground.
"That is the style that adapts best to their game."
Parreira added 15 of his 29 players in Brazil, where they play friendlies against Cruzeiro, Fluminense, Botafogo, Santos and Palmeiras and some smaller club sides, are sure to be in his World Cup squad.
Top forwards Benny McCarthy and Steven Pienaar were not released by their English clubs for the camp that also includes a match against World Cup-bound Paraguay in Asuncion on March 31.
The camp will be followed by a three-week spell in Germany that Parreira said would help reduce the pressure from South African fans, who are demanding much more from the team than a place in the second round that is his target.
"There's a huge pressure, the fans think with their hearts. They want their team to reach the semi-finals, the final, they don't want to know if the team is okay in the FIFA ranking, what they want are results," Parreira said.
South Africa have been drawn in Group A at the June 11-July 11 finals they will host with Mexico, Uruguay and France.