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By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO, Brazil, March 26 - Brazil unveiled on Wednesday the state-of-the-art training center they will use during this year’s World Cup and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said the facilities would help them win the tournament for a record sixth time.
“The players here will have much more than they have at their clubs and they will want for nothing,” Scolari told reporters at the re-opening of the Granja Comary complex.
“Now, the responsibility is ours,” added Scolari, who was the manager when Brazil last won the World Cup in 2002.
“We need to play our role. And in playing our role we are going to do what everyone wants and become world champions.”
The training center was opened 27 years ago and hundreds of Brazilian players have stayed there. But it was in need of repair and builders tore it down and built a modern new complex that Scolari and assistant manager Carlos Alberto Parreira said would be the envy of any European side.
“Nothing I’ve ever seen before is like this here,” Parreira said.
“We’ve started to win the World Cup off the field. You can’t win on the field if you don’t win off the field. When we win off the field that’s one hand on the trophy. Now it is up to us.”
The old twin rooms which players shared have been transformed into 39 individual rooms, each with its own bathroom, king-size bed and big-screen TV.
The huge complex in the hills around 91 kilometers (57 miles) from Rio de Janeiro has swimming pools and jacuzzis, a cafeteria, a games room and an area where the players can host friends and family. There are also several full-sized pitches and indoor training facilities.
The squad, due to be announced on May 7, will meet there on May 26 to prepare for the World Cup. Brazil’s first match is against Croatia in Sao Paulo on June 12.
“The facilities here were obsolete and so we had a big challenge tearing it all down and starting from zero,” said Brazilian Football Federation president Jose Maria Marin.
“Today I am proud and privileged to hand over the new Granja Comary to the staff and above all to the players.
“This base will serve as a legacy for all the Brazil sides that will meet here,” Marin added.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, editing by Ed