Hodgson hopes to face Brazil at Maracana

England will face the Selecao in a friendly next June but, with the iconic stadium currently being refurbished ahead of World Cup 2014, the venue is yet to be confirmed
England manager Roy Hodgson hopes that the rebuilding of the Maracana stadium is complete for the Three Lions' friendly with Brazil next June.

The 65-year-old's new-look national side are set to travel to South America to face the Selecao at the iconic venue next summer as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The stadium has been earmarked as the venue for the World Cup 2014 final but is still undergoing a major reconstruction and fears remain that the stadium will not be ready for England's visit in 2013.

"It's almost like a holy grail so I'm desperately hoping they get the pitch ready in time," Hodgson told the BBC.

"But if they don't it's still a great game and I'm still more than happy to play Brazil wherever they want to play us."

The former Liverpool boss suffered his first defeat in charge of the national side on November 14, when his team lost to Sweden in a friendly, with Brazil's visit to Wembley next up in February before travelling to San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup Qualifying Group H.

Republic of Ireland and Scotland will also make the short journey to face England at their London home before the Three Lions resume their quest to qualify for World Cup 2014.

"The one thing I can assure all of the England football fans is that the players, there's nothing they want more [than to qualify]," Hodgson added.

"They'd had have been more than happy to go and play a World Cup on the Galapagos Islands, let alone Brazil.

"I think if we got here then we would believe in ourselves, we would have a good chance."