Brazilians score with our readers
FIFA World Cup favourites Brazil have been nominated by FIFAworldcup.com readers as the most impressive outfit in the recent round of pre-tournament friendlies.
Twenty-eight per cent of voters opted for Carlos Alberto Parreira's team. Even with all of the hype surrounding the Verdeamarelhos, more than 20,000 of the impressive 72,145 total of voters said they were most impressed by Brazil's recent displays, including this week's 4-0 defeat of New Zealand.
However, the outcome of the survey seems slightly curious, given that the reigning champions were playing against a country placed only 118th in the official FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The Seleção's previous game was an 8-0 win against Swiss club side Lucerne.
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Out of the nine language versions of FIFAworldcup.com, only two sites failed to put the Brazilians in first position, and on both occasions Parreira's men were runners-up. On the German site, the host country saw off the Canarinhos with 23 per cent of the vote, and on the Japanese site, England were the victors with 28 per cent.
Middle Eastern promise
A less obvious choice were Iran, who emerged as overall runners-up to the Brazilians. Branko Ivankovic's side has been in fine form, beating fellow-qualifiers Costa Rica 3-2, drawing 2-2 with Croatia, and overcoming Bosnia-Herzegovina 5-2.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's England were third, after enjoying warm-up victories against Hungary (3-1) and Jamaica (6-0). The overall result of the poll was as follows:
Brazil 28 per cent
Iran 20 per cent
England 19 per cent
Others 13 per cent
Germany 6 per cent
Côte d'Ivoire 5 per cent
Czech Republic 5 per cent
Portugal 4 per cent