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September 8, 2000
Brazil stars have leisurely outingMitch Phillips
Brazil's Olympic soccer coach Wanderley Luxemburgo gave his three World Cup stars a 30-minute outing in Thursday's 3-0 win over Brisbane Strikers.
Striker Ronaldinho, midfielder Athirson and defender Alex all played in last Sunday's 5-0 victory over Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier.
Luxemburgo, who coaches both the full and Olympic sides, introduced them together in a triple substitution after an hour.
Ronaldinho, the Gremio striker groomed to be the next Brazilian great, had few chances to show his skill or electric pace.
Athirson, the Juventus-bound Flamengo defender hoping to take over from Roberto Carlos in the senior side, showed some nice touches on the left while Parma's sturdy defender Alex was understandably untroubled by the Australian part-timers.
A crowd of around 5,000 turned out in the Carrara Stadium to watch the game but windy conditions, a bone-hard pitch and a concern to avoid injury made it a friendly in every regard.
Local fans struggled to identify the visiting stars as Brazilian officials refused a request for the players to wear shirt numbers, leaving the ground announcer to educate them with the observation: "Goal to Brazil - that's 1-0."
The opener was from a penalty harshly awarded for handball and converted by Fluminense midfielder Roger after four minutes.
Lucio added a second after 15 minutes and Roger made it 3-0 with his second after half an hour, finishing of a rare flowing move.
Brisbane goalkeeper Danny Duke made three good saves in the second half to keep the score at 3-0 but the Brazilians appeared happy with their workout a week ahead of their opening game against Slovakia in Brisbane.
They follow with matches against South Africa and Japan,
The four-times world champions have never won the Olympic title - the only major soccer honour they have missed.
Four years ago they led Nigeria 3-1 with 12 minutes remaining in the semifinals but lost in extra-time. They lost in the final in 1984 and 1988.
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