Scolari hails Fred ahead of Switzerland clash

The national team coach has nothing but praise for the prolific attacker, while Dani Alves has admitted that he would rather play competitive games

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has paid tribute to Fluminense striker Fred ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland and believes the attacker will be key to his side's World Cup hopes.

The 29-year-old was one of the undisputed stars of this summer's Confederations Cup as he helped the Selecao to victory by netting five goals in as many games, two of which came in Brazil's 3-0 win over Spain in the final.

"Fred is a player with great skills, very well positioned in the opposition box," Scolari told reporters.

"He has the 'smell' of the goal, he is always in the right position and is very important for the team when he is in a good physical condition.

"He's very useful and does a perfect job as striker of the team."

Barcelona's Dani Alves, meanwhile, is looking forward to Wednesday's match, but has admitted that he would rather play competitive games than friendlies.

As host nation, Brazil are spared the tension of trying to book their place in next year's finals, but the defender would prefer to be playing fixtures with a competitive edge.

"We face the Switzerland match very focused, every time we use the Brazil shirt it's important, but unfortunately it's only a friendly.

"It's my opinion, but unfortunately a friendly is not faced as a three-points match.

"We can't add points and we are far from the top positions in Fifa's ranking, because we don't compete in an official competition.

"Honestly I would like to compete, to be in the qualifying, because this gives you conditions to feel the competition."

Brazil currently sit ninth in the Fifa ranking, but had to settle for 22nd spot in the table as recently as June.

Their Confederations Cup victory saw them return to the top 10, but a top three spot still seems far away as Spain, Germany and Colombia occupy the podium.

The Selecao will be high on confidence ahead of Wednesday's encounter, with Switzerland having recorded just one win in their previous 10 games against Brazil, a 1-0 win in 1989.