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England boss hopes fixture with Brazil at Maracana goes ahead

Maracana Stadium
Action Images

England manager Roy Hodgson is hoping that the rebuilding of the Maracana stadium is complete for the Three Lions' friendly with Brazil next June.

The Seleção are scheduled to face Hodgson’s side at the iconic venue next summer as part of the English Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

However, the stadium is still undergoing a major reconstruction and the fixture is yet to be confirmed by FIFA as fears remain that the stadium will not be ready for England's visit in 2013.

"It's almost like a holy grail so I'm desperately hoping they get the pitch ready in time," Hodgson told the BBC.

"But if they don't it's still a great game and I'm still more than happy to play Brazil wherever they want to play us."

The former Liverpool and West Brom boss suffered his first defeat in charge of the national side on in a defeat to Sweden earlier this month

Brazil's visit to Wembley in February is next up for England before they travel to San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup Qualifying Group H.

Hodgson added: "The one thing I can assure all of the England football fans is that the players, there's nothing they want more [than to qualify].

"They'd had have been more than happy to go and play a World Cup on the Galapagos Islands, let alone Brazil.

"I think if we got here then we would believe in ourselves, we would have a good chance."


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