Brazil hit the practice pitch as they prepare for the Copa America
Brazil were back on the practice pitch for the second time on Tuesday (May 2) as they prepare for the Copa America 2015 in Chile. Brazil will play two friendlies in preparation of the South American championship, the first against Mexico on June 7 and another against Honduras on June 10. Brazil’s medical staff had a look at each of the players to see what kind of shape they are in heading into the tournament. And they decided that midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who plays for Wolfsburg in Germany, would have to be sidelined due to a knee injury.
But head trainer Fabio Mahseredjian said the other players present for Tuesday’s practice were fit to play. “In these (physical) evaluations that we’ve done, we haven’t gotten very far. Not even far enough to tell you if there is a long way to go or not. I can just tell you that they are in the condition to play,” Mahseredjian said. On Tuesday, most of the team partook in the first day of team practices at Brazil’s Granja Comary training complex that’s surrounded by mountains in the city of Teresopolis, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Rio de Janeiro.
Some of the big names who play in Europe, including Barcelona star Neymar who will play in the Champions League Final against Juventus in Berlin on Saturday (June 6), had not yet arrived to their home country as playing winds down on the old continent. Players who play professionally in European leagues are coming off the end of a long season while players in Brazil are in the middle of theirs. The team faced cold and wet weather in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro state, but Mahseredjian said the conditions would play to their advantage as they head to Temuco, Chile, for their opening match against Peru on June 14.
“What would be difficult would be to practice in Teresopolis with cold and wet conditions like those right now, and play in a very hot environment. That would be difficult. But in these conditions, which are similar… Temuco (Chile) is a very wet city. I have been following (the weather) every day; it rains a ton and it’s cold. It is raining a lot today with a temperature of 11 degrees (Celsius) (52 degrees Fahrenheit) if I am not mistaken. So it is very similar to what we’re seeing here in Teresopolis. So this will help us, without a doubt,” Mahseredjian said. The Copa America tournament will be held in Chile from June 11 to July 4. Brazil will play the group C matches along with Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.