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Brazil first real test for Klinsmann

September 07, 2004 16:03 IST

New Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann faces his first real test on the road to the 2006 World Cup finals in a friendly against Brazil in Berlin on Wednesday.

The two soccer heavyweights have not met since Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the 2002 World Cup final and Klinsmann knows Wednesday's match will be no ordinary contest.

Juergen Klinsmann"That fixture is a classic and every single player will be particularly motivated," said the former Germany striker, who made his international debut and also won his 100th cap against Brazil.

However, neither Klinsmann nor team manager Oliver Bierhoff regard the match in Berlin's newly renovated Olympic stadium as a chance for revenge.

For both it will be a first step on a path which, they hope, will lead the German team back to the same arena for the 2006 World Cup final.

"We want to know where the team stands 21 months before the 2006 World Cup, which is so important for German football," said Bierhoff, like Klinsmann a former Germany forward.

Klinsmann, who took over from Rudi Voeller in the wake of Germany's shock group stage exit from Euro 2004, presided over a 3-1 friendly win over Austria in Vienna in his first game in charge last month.


Although they went on to hold England to a draw in a World Cup qualifier, Austria do not belong to the sport's elite and Wednesday's match against the ultimate soccer power will be far more relevant.

Germany have not beaten a top team since a 1-0 victory over England at Wembley in October 2000, losing eight and drawing one of their nine games against prestigious opponents since.

The three-times world and European champions still have potential and have a record of bouncing back from frustrating spells but on their current form it seems unlikely they will trouble Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and company.

Klinsmann, who should opt for a starting line-up similar to the ones Voeller picked during the disappointing Euro 2004 campaign, urged his men to at least show initiative.

"I want the players to be more active, to move the ball forward quickly and to always do what's best for the team," he said.

"I also want them to believe in themselves because football is a mental thing."

Probable teams:

Germany: Oliver Kahn; Andreas Hinkel, Frank Baumann, Frank Fahrenhorst, Philipp Lahm; Sebastian Deisler, Torsten Frings, Bernd Schneider, Michael Ballack; Kevin Kuranyi, Gerald Asamoah.

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Belletti, Juan, Roque Junior, Roberto Carlos; Renato, Edmilson, Ronaldinho, Edu; Adriano, Ronaldo.

Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland)

Patrick Vignal in Berlin
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