Chelsea's Ramires: It's strange to see Brazil ranked 18th
Chelsea star Ramires says it is strange to see Brazil so far down the FIFA rankings but believes it is understandable as the team are going through a difficult phase.
The five-time world champions are currently at their lowest ever ranking of 18th, having been underperforming for some time now.
Brazil don’t have to play competitive qualifiers as hosts of the 2014 World Cup, which has also contributed to their recent decline.
However, Ramires insists the Seleção are more concerned about preparations for next year’s tournament as the team need time to gel.
He told the Evening Standard: "It is a bit strange to see Brazil in 18th. Everyone is used to seeing Brazil in the top three or so, but we’re a team getting renewed.
"We lost a lot of players and haven’t won a lot of competitions recently, so it’s not a surprise that we have fallen. But we are working hard and want to put Brazil back in the higher positions.
"Obviously the team have been going through a difficult time because the team are getting renovated. It’s a new period for this squad. We need time to get this team to gel together for the World Cup.
"We know we don’t have that much time now so we’re trying to cut things short so we’re strong. As hosts, we’re not playing qualifying games but we look at the friendlies against teams like Russia as qualifying matches.
"We want to be prepared for the World Cup and after that we will take more consideration of where we are in the rankings."
Brazil face Italy in Geneva on Thursday before travelling to London to take on Russia at Stamford Bridge.
Luiz Felipe Scolari could be without some key players for the friendlies, as Ramires is struggling with a thigh problem and is already out of the Italy clash, while Chelsea team-mate David Luiz is trying to recover from a knock.
Source: Evening Standard