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 May 15, 2002 | 1052 IST

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No balls for Brazil as training continues

Brazil's World Cup squad saw no sign of a football on their second day of training on Tuesday, being forced instead to undergo a battery of medical and physical fitness tests.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, already irritated after seeing Monday's first practice reduced to 13 players, stayed holed up in his hotel room, watching videos of first round opponents China, officials said.

Team doctor Jose Luis Runco insisted the tests were necessary to determine the players' level of fitness, especially as the European-based players were at the end of the domestic season and the Brazilian-based players were only halfway through their.

"It's a type of pre-season training," he explained. "The idea is to leave the players prepared for what each position demands."

But captain Emerson Ferreira shared Scolari's displeasure at the situation.

"It's the worst part of training," he complained. "Nobody likes to just go running around a field."


Scolari, usually known as Big Phil, has already complained that time is running short before Brazil's opening World Cup match against Turkey on June 3.

On Monday, he was angry after four players were sent for tests while six others were still with their clubs.

This left him with only 13 players for the squad's first training session when again players were able to do little more than limber up and play piggy-in-the-middle.

Meanwhile, striker Ronaldo was trying to deny yet more rumours about a possible move from Inter Milan.

"I'm only talking about the national team," he told a gaggle of Brazilian, Spanish and Italian journalists. "All I must think about is the World Cup.

"This type of speculation just gets in the way and I prefer not to comment.

Midfielder Juninho Paulista, winger Denilson and full-back Cafu were also asked about possible moves.

Cafu said he would like to stay at AS Roma, Juninho said he was studying a possible move back to Atletico Madrid -- who have won promotion back to the Spanish first division -- and Denilson was philosophical when asked if he would stay at Real Betis.

"You never know what's going to happen tomorrow," he said. "Today, I've got a contract with Betis, tomorrow you never know."

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