The Confederation of Brazilian Soccer (CBF) recently confirmed two October friendlies for the Brazilian national team. The Selecao is scheduled to the play Iran and the Ukraine in the second week of October, and Argentina in November.
The friendly schedule is as follows:
Brazil v. Iran: Abu Dhabi, October 7, 2010
Brazil v. Ukraine: Pride Park, Derby, England, October 11, 2010
Brazil v. Argentina: Doha, Qatar, November 17, 2010
International friendlies such as these are vital for the Brazilian national team's preparation for the 2011 Copa America, 2012 London Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup because, as hosts in 2014, Brazil is not required to participate in the grueling South American qualification process.
The matches offer a mouthwatering opportunity for Brazilian fans to see how coach Mano Menezes takes charge of the Selecao with a group of highly talented players such as Andre Santos, Dani Alves, Robinho, Carlos Eduardo and Philippe Coutinho who have yet to fully gel together within the national team.
Coach Mano Menezes has begun to assert his authority on the team as a relaxed but visionary leader committed to allowing players to express their creativity on the field. Well known as a football addict and student of the game who views multiple matches a week from several different leagues, Mano showcased the depth of his tactical understanding of the game and ability to field multiple formations on the pitch in his coaching debut against the USA in a way that suggestively recalled Mario Zagallo's ability to transform a 3-5-2 into a 5-3-2 with Brazil's great team of 1970. Of course, the current Selecao has a long way to go to come anywhere close to Pele, Jarizinho, Tostao, Gerson, Clodoaldo and company, but Mano's squad selections and performance against the USA suggests that samba soccer may have begun to return to the Brazilian national team for the first time since 1982. Brazil have never played Iran and the Ukraine so both of these matches will pose a keen test of Mano's tactical acumen and preparation.