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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 8 hours ago
Read
Sep 3, 2013

Socceroos' Brazil test a World Cup teaser

Playing at a World Cup venue against hosts Brazil will ram home both what the Socceroos have achieved and the challenge ahead, says defender Ryan McGowan.

With the core of the squad together for the first time since sealing qualification in Sydney in June for next year's showpiece event, McGowan said just being in Brazil raised the excitement level.

The Socceroos will take on the five-time world champions in a friendly at Brasilia's Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha Stadium early on Sunday (AEST).

"Being here just now is really getting everyone excited," McGowan said.

"Getting to see one of the World Cup stadiums and obviously playing against Brazil is sort of making it real now what we achieved a couple of months ago.

"It's making everyone want to work hard and do well between now and then to make sure we're as best prepared for the World Cup as we can be."

While Brazil have ruled out forward Hulk (hamstring) and defender Dani Alves (ankle), McGowan admitted combating attacking stars such as Neymar and Oscar would be a huge test.

"It's obviously going to be a hard task," he said.

"A lot of defenders all across the world have tried and not succeeded in trying to keep these sort of guys quiet.

"I think if we defend as a unit and defend as a whole team then we might have some more success. Hopefully that's what we do."

Socceroos teammate Tom Rogic was also looking forward to sharing the field with some of the world's best players.

"You only have to look at the squad and see some of the players that are here," Rogic said.

"You look at the clubs these players are representing and they're if not the best, one of the best teams in the world right now.

"So to have a match against them and for us to test ourselves is very exciting.

"We're all looking forward to it, it should be a great occasion, a great crowd.

"Brazil in Brazil just sounds pretty cool."

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