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The Selecao's technical coordinator believes the home crowd can inspire them to the World Cup this summer and also took time to pay homage to the great Nelson Mandela

Brazil technical coordinator Carlos Alberto Parreira says the ‘wonderful’ support of the Brazilian public will be invaluable on the Selecao’s quest to claim their sixth world title.

The World Cup returns to Brazil this year after 54 years and following the success of the Confederations Cup last year, Parreira believes the home crowd can inspire Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side to glory.

“We are playing at home with confidence and, with the players we have, we are really thinking about winning it,” Parreira told a press conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Johannesburg on Monday.

“We have experience and we will have the Brazilian people behind, just us as they were in the Confederations Cup – they created a really wonderful mood, something which I have never seen in Brazil before.”

“After 1950, when we did not win the World Cup at home, we have a second opportunity and we do not want to miss it.”
On Wednesday Brazil will meet South Africa in the final Gillette Brasil Global Tour date before the final World Cup squad is confirmed and Parreira, who spent two spells in charge of Bafana Bafana, leading them into World Cup 2010, said he was delighted be back in his ‘second home’.

“It’s an honour to be back in South Africa which hosted the last World Cup,” he said.

“The best places are those where people treat you well, and I was treated very well in this country. When I went back home after 2010 I took with me a lot of good memories from the World Cup which South Africa organised really well.

“This game here against Bafana Bafana is very special for us because it has brought about the kind of friendship and also we believe that they will give us the sort of strength we need as in the last Fifa date before the World Cup.”

The fixture comes 20 years after Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president and Parreira went on to pay homage to Madiba, whom he was fortunate enough to meet during his time in charge of the national team.

“I was privileged enough to be with Nelson Mandela on three occasions,” he said.

“I have huge admiration for him. He was a symbol of the country and he unified South Africa.

“It was great for everybody involved with the South African team to have met Mr Mandela. He was admired by everyone and we were privileged just be in the same room as him, let alone actually meet him.”