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   21 May, 2002 | 1605 IST


Zinedine Zidane
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Zidane's fouling impresses Emerson

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The world marvelled last week at Zinedine Zidane's winning goal for Real Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final.

Brazil captain Emerson Ferreira, however, was more impressed with the Frenchman's fouls.

Emerson, often criticised in Brazil for his overzealous tackling, held Zidane up as the perfect example on Tuesday as he led the call for Brazil's strikers -- including Ronaldo and Rivaldo -- to do their fair share of the marking.

"In the Champions League final, we saw Zidane running and committing fouls, he's a player who does his share of marking but this doesn't stop him from playing," said Emerson after training on Tuesday morning.

"We have good technique and we have players who can turn a game in an instant but we are a bit short on the marking side, it's something we have to improve on," he added.

"I don't think it's asking a lot. In other national teams, such as France, the two strikers mark the defenders."

"We have to look at the other teams and try and copy the things they do right, we can't be so confident that we think we can't improve."

Brazil, who face Malaysia on Saturday in their last warm-up match before the World Cup, have long left their attacking traditions behind to concentrate instead on defence, tackling and tactical discipline.


Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, a man who has publicly encouraged his players to foul opponents and even chastised them from not doing enough time-wasting, also insisted that even the two former World Players of the Year would have to do mundane tasks such as tackling and marking.

"Strikers everywhere mark defenders nowadays and if we don't do this, we could suddenly find ourselves chasing back in midfield, where one small error could result in a goal," said Scolari, who often packs his team with up to eight defending and tackling specialists.

"You can't have this risk in a World Cup," added the coach.

Scolari put his words into practice during Tuesday's training and Rivaldo was repeatedly pulled up for his poor marking and positioning.

Afterwards, however, Scolari said his players had responded well.

"I'm very happy with some of the athletes, who are not usually good markers but who are trying to help the team," he said. "We have progressed a lot in these days."

Brazil will play in group C in the World Cup which starts on May 31 against Turkey, China and Costa Rica.

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