Brazil's FIFA World Cup™ hopefuls began training in cool and rainy conditions Wednesday at their base camp in the hills outside Rio de Janeiro. If the squad had been hoping for balmy conditions at their Granja Comary complex in the town of Teresopolis they would have suffered a rude awakening, with the thermometer showing just 17 Celsius as they trotted onto a chilly pitch.

Under the watchful gaze of 2002 World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the 23-man squad began their session shortly after 10.00 after some indoor warm-ups - the three goalkeepers following the programme in reverse. Chelsea midfielder Oscar, coming off a hip injury, and striker Jo, likewise shaking off fitness problems as he looks to play second fiddle to main striker Fred, both joined the group from the outset for an hour-long session.

The bulk of the squad, most of whom play in Europe, had arrived on Monday. Tuesday they underwent a series of fitness tests, preparing to hit tip-top shape for their 12 June Opening Match against Croatia in Sao Paulo. Before then the team will play two friendlies - against Panama on 3 June in Goiania and Serbia three days later in the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo.

The Croatian game will be played in the Corinthians Arena before A Seleção meet Mexico and Cameroon to complete their Group A fixtures.