Brazilian midfielder Elano said the five-times world champions would treat their opening FIFA World Cup™ game against Korea DPR just like any other match despite the veil of mystery shrouding their opponents.
Brazil open their campaign on Tuesday against the Koreans in Johannesburg before facing Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Didier Drogba's Côte d’Ivoire in the so-called "Group of Death."
Elano said Korea DPR were a strong outfit with a good midfield. "We have to respect them just like any other good team in the world," the Galatasary player told a packed press conference, adding he had watched the opponents on TV and on his computer.
Elano, who played under the Ivorians coach Sven-Goran Eriksson when he was at Manchester City, said his appointment would boost the African side.
"I played my first year in England with him and I was lucky," he said. "He's a guy that I really respect.
"Ivory Coast are a really good team with great players and they are even stronger with Eriksson, who does a great job. I'm looking forward to meeting him."
Barcelona defender Dani Alves said last year's FIFA Confederations Cup win was a major plus for Brazil. "It was good for us because we had a chance to feel the atmosphere, to understand how it works, the distance, the food," he said.