JOHANNESBURG - South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is tipping his native Brazil to win next year's World Cup.
Parreira, who won the trophy with Brazil in 1994 but flopped with the same side in Germany in 2006, said the team's Confederations Cup triumph in South Africa this year and their strong World Cup qualifying display made them the team to beat next June.
"Brazil have become so good in recent games. The way the team has been playing means they are favourites. But there are also other teams to consider," he said at the Soccerex business convention in Johannesburg on Monday.
Parreira added that Spain and Germany were potential winners and reserved a special mention for England. "They have a good squad and I like the way they are playing under (Fabio) Capello," he said.
"The World Cup is all about peaking at the right moment and I feel the unity is there in the Brazilian side. It is a country that has a special relationship with the World Cup where the players are not scared of the event but so desperately want to do well." HEAVILY FANCIED
Brazil won a record fifth World Cup in 2002 and were heavily fancied in 2006 before being eliminated in the quarter-finals by France.
Parreira said he did not believe the first World Cup played in winter since Argentina hosted the 1978 finals would offer an advantage to the European countries.
"Brazil have 90 percent of their squad at European clubs. I don't see any advantage for the Europeans at all," he said.
Of his own South Africa side, he said: "Our mission is clear to take 'Bafana Bafana' as far as we can.
"Home advantage will be a factor if we are well prepared and I believe it is going to be scary for opposing teams against us particularly in the opening match when we will have 90,000 supporters on our side."
Parreira also backed the use of the noisy vuvuzela plastic trumpets whose incessant cacophony of noise drew complaints from players and broadcasters at June's Confederations Cup.
"The vuvuzelas are a big help. We have to use this to our advantage," he said.comments