Brazil to play France and Germany

RIO DE JANEIRO - The 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil are to meet Germany and France in friendlies next year.

Coach Mano Menezes is also planning talks in Italy on Thursday with Inter Milan trio Lucio, Maicon and Julio Cesar who have been overlooked since Brazil's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Netherlands in July.

Brazil, whose last match this year is against arch-rivals Argentina in Doha on November 17, are looking for strong opposition to prepare for 2014 given they will not be taking part in the South American qualifiers.

"These three friendlies are certain," Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira told Reuters on Tuesday at the launch of the Annual of Brazilian Football book.

According to the website of football's ruling body FIFA, the record five-times world champions will play France on February 9 at the Stade de France in St Denis, Paris.

That is the venue where the French beat Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final. The match against Germany will be in Stuttgart on August 10.

Brazil have beaten United States, Iran and Ukraine in friendlies without conceding a goal under Menezes since he replaced World Cup coach Dunga in July.

"It's a start... we won't have qualifiers and we must prepare (for 2014)," Teixeira said. "I think it's important the work be started as quickly as possible. "Either we stop and don't play or we make the most of what we can."

Inter Milan's Brazilian trio were stalwarts of Dunga's side and Menezes is keen to show them he is not ruling anyone out.

"The talks with these players are important to avoid them receiving erroneous information open to misinterpretation," Menezes told the CBF website.

On his European trip, the coach has already talked with AC Milan's Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Thiago Silva, who have already played under him, and at Real Madrid with Kaka, who is recovering from injury, and left back Marcelo.

Menezes denied having spoken to Ronaldinho, who is also at AC Milan, about a possible recall following reports in Italian media that he had.