The Brazilian national football team left for Campanas, their training base for the July 2011 Copa America tournament, yesterday. With the exception of Santos players Elano, Neymar and Ganso, the squad left Rio de Janeiro with coach Mano Menezes and his staff. Brazil enter the tournament as defending champions but will encounter stiff opposition from a number of strong South American opponents as they attempt to hoist the title for the third consecutive time. Mano Menezes identified Paraguay as its most difficult opponent in the group stage but is wary of the threat posed by Ecuador and Venezuela as well, and particularly Venezuela, given that they constitute their first opponent. Mano has also noted that Argentina is currently the tournament favorite given the evolution of their squad over the last few years.
Group assignments for the initial phase of the Copa America tournament are as follows:
Bolivia Group B