Los Angeles Soccer: Brazil national team

MEXICO: Why the Brazil friendly matters

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
9:06
PM PT
Nothing's on the line except pride and preparation when Mexico's and Brazil's national teams tangle Tuesday night in Torreon, but there's plenty of reasons to tune in.

The friendly between two of the world's finest sides, both fielding representative teams, will air at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34). Mexico will counter a skilled Brazilian team with its superstars -- Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Giovani Dos Santos and Rafa Marquez -- and the knowledge that Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre hasn't lost since making his debut as manager in February.

El Tricolor is 10-0-4 under the former national team midfielder.

Here are three reasons to follow the action:

1. 'CHICHARITO' AND RONALDINHO

Hernandez, among the world's most admired strikers since joining Manchester United following last year's World Cup, is finally healthy after taking a few knocks to start the season. He has scored 22 goals in his first 31 appearances for Mexico, and his appearance opposite Brazilian attacker Ronaldinho -- also an iconic superstar, one whose time internationally is dwindling -- is a big deal.


The Brazilians know this.

“He has been standing out in Manchester, his confidence is very high, and he is a very dangerous player,” defender Lucas, who plays at English Premier League rival Liverpool, told a media gathering in Mexico on Sunday. “He's very fast and can surprise you at any time.

“But there are other players, too. There is a player who is playing for Tottenham [Giovani] who has many qualities, but Chicharito is the great [player from Mexico].”

Ronaldinho returned to Brazil's national team in August -- after a nine-month absence following his exclusion from last year's World Cup team -- and is starring at home, with Flamengo, following a decade in Europe. He spent most of his years on the continent with Barcelona, where his teammates included Marquez and Giovani.

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