Carlos Alberto: Brazil need settled team

MANCHESTER - If Brazil wants to win the 2014 World Cup on home soil, manager Mano Menezes needs to forge a settled squad as soon as possible, according to 1970 World Cup-winning captain Carlos Alberto.

Menezes, who took over from Dunga last year, has a core of young, exciting players to build the team around but the coach should stop tinkering and decide on his formation, Carlos Alberto told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking at a the Soccerex European business forum, the former defender said: "We have a very good generation of players now, it is a new team, but to win the World Cup you need experience too.

"Spain have showed that to everyone and Germany also have young players but they have the experience now because they have played at one World Cup.

"In my opinion, we should have the team now... but the coach and the federation are changing the team in every game and I do not agree with this.

"We should have one team, maybe change one player or another player. Ask anyone in Brazil to name the lineup of the Brazilian team, nobody knows... so we are wasting time.

"We are confident we are going to have a good team for the World Cup with players like Neymar, Lucas, David Luiz, Pato, we have a team for the next two World Cups. But I am afraid they are not getting the experience."

DIFFERENT TEAM

Brazil have looked a different side under Menezes.

Gone is the pragmatic and unpopular approach favoured by Dunga that was undone by the Netherlands in last year's World Cup quarter-finals, replaced by the kind of exuberant soccer that Brazil played when they dazzled the world forty years ago.

Their latest victory, a 2-0 win over Scotland in London on Sunday, was highlighted by some swift interplay and a larger margin of victory would not have flattered them.

Carlos Alberto recognises that Brazil, as always, will start among the favourites in 2014, but he also has other concerns and echoed FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who said last week that the country needed to speed up its preparations for the finals.

"I agree with him, not enough work is being done, I don't see anything being done at the airports, for example. The Brazilian people are very excited about the World Cup, but I don't see much working being done," the 66-year-old said.

"(2010 hosts) South Africa had their problems, but it was different there, as that was a political World Cup.

"FIFA wanted to make a World Cup in Africa... but this is different. If you don't do things at the right time, we are risking losing the tournament."

Carlos Alberto speaks with a great deal of authority as someone with a revered place in Brazilian soccer.

Not only did he captain what is generally regarded as the greatest team ever to play the game, he also scored the memorable fourth goal in their 4-1 win over Italy in the final in Mexico.

TOO GOOD

He has little doubt that his team of 1970 would be too good for today's Barcelona, who some have "dubbed the greatest team ever", perhaps forgetting just how superb his famous side were.

"Barcelona has a very good team today, but you cannot compare it to our team," he enthused.

"Today anyway, the quality of the football is down (compared to the 1970s). Maybe Barcelona have the chance to prove they are the best today. But if you could make a game, Brazil 1970 against Barcelona 2011 - if it was possible - we would win.

"You cannot forget that at that time, we had one guy, Pele at number 10, also Jairzinho, Gerson, Clodoaldo, Tostao.

"Barcelona really has a very good team. Lionel Messi is the best player today, but in my opinion we had players better than Messi."