The 2014 FIFA World Cup is nine months away but the Socceroos will gain a precious insight into the challenge that awaits when they face the hosts this weekend.
BRASILIA: The 2014 FIFA World Cup is nine months away but the Socceroos will gain a precious insight into the challenge that awaits when they face the hosts on Saturday (Sunday morning AEST).
Brazil, as the tournament-s top seeds, have a one in eight chance of facing the Socceroos at the FIFA World Cup proper, while the venue for Saturday-s match, Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, will host seven matches throughout the tournament.
Be it the opponent or the venue, there is plenty to be gained by the Socceroos on Saturday and the playing group is determined to not let such an opportunity go to waste.
“I think being here just now is really, sort of, getting everyone excited,” said defender Ryan McGowan.
“To see one of the FIFA 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 just making everyone want to work hard and do well between now and then to make sure that we-re best prepared for the FIFA World Cup as we can be.”
On the pitch, the Socceroos will face perhaps their most formidable test in recent memory.
Not since 2011-s friendly away to Germany has Australia met an opponent ranked as high as Brazil by FIFA-s World Rankings.
Certainly the Seleçao have prepared their full arsenal for Holger Osieck-s charges, with Barcelona megastar Neymar set to headline a full strength eleven that also features Chelsea-s David Luiz and Oscar and captain Thiago Silva.
“I think it-ll be a really good platform to test ourselves,” said midfielder James Holland.
“It-s a team (Brazil) that doesn't need an introduction
“Five-time World Champions, look at their team on paper, they've got some of the world-s best players at the moment.
“For us, it-s a good opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are and hopefully help us work towards the FIFA World Cup next year.”