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Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Chick Young's view on Scots friendly against Brazil

International friendly: Brazil v Scotland
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London Date: Sunday 27 March Kick-off: 1400 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Scotland 810MW


Pele in action for Brazil
Pele is widely regarded as perhaps the world's greatest ever player

Next time we share a beer my friend, shake the hand of the man who shook the hand of Pele.

Twice actually, at the end of quite the most pathetic of interviews it has ever been my pride and pleasure to perform.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento - without a shadow of a doubt the most gifted footballer ever to pull on a pair of boots - was a football deity to me.

Diego Maradona, George Best, Johan Cruyff - even the blessed Messi - all just apprentices to the Sorcerer.

So, when the opportunity twice arose to record some television interviews with him, first at the draw for the 1998 World Cup finals in Marseille and then at the finals in Paris as the competition was about to get under way, I turned up on bended knee.

I was a blubbering idiot... (Yes, yes I hear the "no change there" comments from here) I even wasted about five minutes of the interview time getting a Brazil top - Romario's as it happens - personally autographed.

And - cringe - I presented him with a tartan scarf. But at least it was cashmere.

This is about finding how far Scotland have evolved, about Craig Levein putting down a marker

Pele: I believe the man was so talented he could have scored with a beach ball in a mouse hole.

But then, as a child of the 1950s, I understood that Brazilians were not just from a different continent but from a different football planet.

The great man was only 17 when he played in the 1958 World Cup final, and 21 by the time he collected his second winner's medal in 1962. In 1970, he was the beating heart of the greatest football team that ever was when he won his third World Cup medal.

If you are under, say, 50 and have no idea how good that side was then think Barcelona now and ask them to clean up their act a bit.

Brazil came to Hampden in the mid-60s and wee Billy Bremner marked Pele. Here, here, there and there. But we drew 1-1 just the same. And a love affair was growing.

And then we just couldn't stay away from them: Germany 1974, Spain 1982, Italy 1990 and June 10 1998, France. We walked down the World Cup aisle together.

This Sabbath, we take another stroll with them, down the tunnel at the Emirates in north London, a new venue for an old rivalry.

You wonder, don't you, if they'll emerge hand in hand just as they did in the Stade de France in the opening game of the 1998 finals, back on that glorious Parisian afternoon, bemusing a team of native Scots who had the look of men who were embarrassed at stumbling on to some sort of private arrangement.

This was an important competitive game, not a meaningless friendly.

Funny is not it, your cultural upbringing. A daisy chain of footballers hand in hand for Brazilians is a statement of unity. If our team emerged like that, the Tartan Army would be red-faced with embarrassment and humiliation

I love Brazil; their philosophy of football, their understanding that most of all to entertain is the thing.

David Narey scores against Brazil
David Narey scored against Brazil in a 4-1 defeat in 1982

You cannot refuse the chance of a game with them, of course you cannot. But it is a bit like being offered a date with Cameron Diaz - you will take it, but you know she is out of your league.

Brazil are going to be good on Sunday. For a start, they have the best wing backs in the world in Dani Alves of Barcelona and Marcelo of Real Madrid.

Then scan the rest of their squad and hunt me out the good news.

This is not the Faroe Islands nor Northern Ireland, but then again neither are they the world champions and we gave them - Spain - a run for their money.

This is about finding how far Scotland have evolved, about boss Craig Levein and his men putting down a marker.

It is about a right good weekend in London for tens of thousands of Scottish fans and re-awakening memories of the days when we used to lay siege to the place for two or three days. Wembley weekends: precious, precious days.

And, most of all, it is about meeting those wonderful people and their samba rhythms. I'll never forget when David Narey fired Scotland ahead against them in Seville in 1982. Did they panic? Aye right.

For a brief few moments the Tartan Army outsung their bands and those beautiful Brazilian girls just changed the beat of their dance until Brazil scored - as they knew they would - and the natural order was restored.

Bring it on. Just bring it on.

Hands across the water: and down the length of the tunnel.



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see also
Scotland 0-2 Brazil
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Injured Pato drops out for Brazil
24 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Bannan eager to tackle Brazilians
21 Mar 11 |  Scotland
No Robinho for Scotland friendly
03 Mar 11 |  Scotland


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