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.”
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic injured as Genk exit Europa League
It wasn’t a happy night in the UEFA Europa League for Danny Vukovic as he was stretched off in Genk’s 4-1 loss to Slavia Prague on Friday morning (AEDT). AUSSIES ABROAD: Vukovic features in top-two battle NEW DEAL: In-form Vukovic rewarded with contract extension Still sco
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's plenty for Caltex Socceroos fans to sink their teeth into this weekend with our homegrown heroes gearing up for some massive matches. Mathew Leckie attempts to slay a giant in Germany, two Aussies set aside national team loyalties in Denmark and Aaron Mooy goes on the
In-form Vukovic earns Genk contract extension
Caltex Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been rewarded for his excellent form with a two-season contract extension at Belgian club KRC Genk. The 33-year-old's deal was due to expire at the end of the campaign but the Pro League leaders have taken up their option to extend
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit