Doha: Qatar will try to test their skills against Dani Alves-led Brazil in their friendly meeting in Brasilia, today. The match will kick off at 3.30am Qatar time tomorrow at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, the second largest stadium in Brazil.
The five-time world champions Brazil, ranked third in the FIFA computer, have a 1-0 head-to-head record against the Qatari men, having won 6-1 in their previous meeting which took place way back in 1979.
During todayâ€™s friendly, all eyes will be on the PSG star Neymar who was recently stripped of the captaincy.
Brazil, managed by Tite, will be led by the new skipper Dani Alves and and will miss the services of Allison and Roberto Firmino, who are fresh off winning the Champions League with Liverpool, and rejoining the team later this week.
Qatar, meanwhile, will be trying their best to prove that their Asian Cup title win in February is no fluke.
In the Asian Cup, Qatar went on a rampage, winning all seven of their matches with 19 goals, conceding just one. They defeated Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Lebanon in the group stage, before running through the knockout stage with wins of South Korea and Japan in the final.
The Brazil friendly will be the perfect opportunity for coach Felix Sanchezâ€™s men, who are making their debut appearance in Copa America which kicks off in another 10 days.
The World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar are in Group B alongside Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay. They are one of two invitee teams to the South American tournament alongside Japan, making their second appearance.
Qatar will open their campaign against Paraguay on June 16, while Brazil are in Group A alongside Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru.
â€œWe want to gain more experience and see how close we are to the South American teams ahead of bigger opponents and competitions,â€ Sanchez said during a press conference ahead of the teamâ€™s trip to South America.
â€œWe had a great Asian Cup and it was a big achievement. Hopefully, it will help us to compete but this is a different competition and it is our first time to play against South American teams.
â€œWe want to perform at the highest level and see how we can compete against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay; they are former World Cup champions. It is going to be tough but it will be a good test to see how ready we are for 2022. There will be a lot of physical demands but the players are motivated,â€ Sanchez said.
â€œOur participation in the Copa America can be seen as a significant step in our journey towards the World Cup, a journey that we started some time ago. In Brazil, weâ€™ll play against experienced teams that are certainly of a higher calibre than what we saw at the Asian tournament,â€ he told FIFA in an interview few days ago.
â€œOur group includes Argentina, whose abilities are well known, and Colombia, who are exceptionally good performers, whether at World Cups or the Copa America. Paraguay also boast a pedigreed history. So, I believe these matches will serve as an important staging post for me and the players. Theyâ€™ll tell us where we currently stand and what we need to do in the next phase,â€ the Spanish tactician said.