Portugal, Brazil next?

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Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira explained that a match against Portugal looks almost a certainty for March 2008 while announcing that a date with Brazil is likely for August.

“The Portugal match is almost 100 percent organised for March next year and the planning is going well for a match against Brazil in August,” Parreira says.

Looking ahead at the Fifa dates in those months, it seems like March 26 and August 20 will be the likely dates.

Parreira noted that the confirmed matches against USA and Canada before the end of this year would also form part of his “rebuilding phase”.

“It’s really challenging for us as coaches to bring in players with little development and expect them to be ready for international football.

“And because there is no proper foundation at youth level in South Africa, players are not ready at 18, which is the age we’d like to bring players in.

“This is why these friendlies are so important for South Africa. There is a gap with the technical ability of players coming straight from the PSL into top level football.

“Sometimes there is a tactical gap too and this makes it challenging for us when deciding which players to look at. We also have to bring our average age down a little more to fit the profile of a World Cup winning team.”

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