Brazil’s focus is on World Cup qualification.



After a tumultuous round of World Cup qualifiers last month, Brazil can boast a full squad and clear goal for their next matches: booking their tickets for Qatar.

Celiacau has a perfect record of eight of his eight qualifiers ahead of a tour of Venezuela on Thursday, followed by a match against Colombia on Sunday and a tour of Uruguay next week.

Three more victories could potentially secure Brazil’s ability in record time.

“Obviously it’s always good to qualify as soon as possible,” said Alex Sandro, a 30-year-old fullback from Juventus.

“However, we always think about playing to win, playing our best, showing everything we’re working on.

“In the next games, we will do our best to secure the qualification.”

Brazil will also be hoping to avoid the chaos of last month’s qualifiers when Coach Tight was made up of nine members of their original squad – including Chelsea’s Thiago Silva, Liverpool trio Alison, Roberto Firmino and Fabino, Manchester City duo Edson. And Gabriel Jesus, and Manchester United’s Fred – and saw their confrontation with Argentina end just 10 minutes later by Brazilian public health officials.

Cowade was largely responsible for both issues, with English clubs refusing to release their players due to quarantine obligations – an issue that has since been settled between the British and Brazilian governments.

Similarly, Brazil’s Cuved was behind the actions of health officials when Argentina fielded four English-born players who needed two weeks of quarantine upon arrival in Brazil.

Those issues are now limited to the past, although it is not yet known when the match will be resumed.

And it is a great relief for Leeds United winger Rafinha when his club refused to release him after his first call-up to the Brazilian squad.

“It was very difficult, I was very disappointed. Of course I was hoping until the last minute that I could come,” Rafina said of the experience.

“All I could do was keep calm, keep working, because I knew there would be another call up in a few weeks.”

All of this has worked well for Rafinha, who has been in excellent form in the English Premier League.

“This is a very happy moment in my career and in my life,” he added.

Despite their last-minute squad, Brazil beat Chile 1-0 and suspended Peru 2-0 with a goal from suspended Neymar against Venezuela.

Brazil leads the South American singles qualifying table with six points ahead of Argentina and their in-form Lionel Messi, who opened the scoring for Paris Saint-Germain last week with a stunning goal in the Champions League 2 against Manchester City. Won by -0.

The undefeated Argentina will travel to Paraguay on Thursday, host Uruguay on Sunday and then entertain Peru next week.

The last time out, Messi scored a hat-trick in Bolivia’s 3-0 win, surpassing Pele as the top international goal scorer in South American football, scoring his goals in light blue and white streams. Reached 79 goals.

The South American teams will play three World Cup qualifiers in a week’s time, as several matches were postponed this year and earlier this year due to the quad, which created a fixture backlog.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni admitted: “I’m a little worried about the matches that have to be played without injured forwards Sergio Aguero and Paulo Debala.

“This is something new for us. We hope they will be dealt with in the best way possible.”

Like Brazil, the Copa America champion Argentina’s qualification may seem formal, but the battle behind them for the other two places is fierce.

Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay are separated by just four points, with nine more matches to play.

Uruguay provide entertainment to Colombia on Thursday, leading to the return of two of the country’s most famous lights, Luis Suarez, from injury and Edinson Cavani being stopped by his club Manchester United in September.

He was hardly remembered last month, as Uruguay scored seven of nine possible points.

But after Colombia, they travel to Argentina and Brazil.

Even so, Cavani is feeling the pinch, saying that Uruguay will “try not to drop points at home” and “can go out and compete anywhere”.

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