Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (C-L, in blue suit) poses with Brazil's national football team at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on May 26, 2010. The Brazilian team, five-time world champion, embarks today to South Africa, and is among the favorites for the 2010 World Cup which starts on June 11th. ((Evaristo SA/AFP/Getty Images) )

Brazil arrived at the World Cup on Thursday saying it will be less friendly to fans and the media as it was four years ago.

The players and coaches hope to avoid the euphoria they blame for their elimination in the quarter-finals at Germany 2006.

Brazil moved into its training camp with the usual expectations that accompany the five-time world champions, but coach Dunga quickly made it clear that the team will try to keep as much distance as possible from the hype surrounding them.

"From the first day we said the priority is the national team," Dunga said. "Everything else comes later. We need to have a certain balance when it comes to the work of the national team."

The Brazilian Football Confederation said through its spokesman in the team's first news conference in South Africa that what happened in the 2006 World Cup "did not work" and will not happen again.

The buildup to the team's 2006 tournament was at the lakeside resort town of Weggis, Switzerland, and was marked by a partying atmosphere that players and coaches said was detrimental to the team.

Thousands of fans were allowed to follow nearly all of Brazil's practices and the media had daily access to nearly all of the players. Brazil fell to France 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

Less access

The media will have access to only some players this time, and fans will not likely be able to watch the team's practices.

"People often complain that we are being harsh," Dunga said. "Sometimes you don't need to give access to everything we do."

Brazil has always been one of the teams that gave the most access to fans and the media, but not this time.

"We want you to think about it and see if it's really necessary to have so many TV cameras pointed to the players' rooms here," confederation spokesman Rodrigo Paiva said.

Brazil is staying at the five-star Hotel Fairway inside a golf club in Randburg. The team will practice at a nearby school, but only the media is expected to have access to parts of trainings.

Brazil players underwent a physical conditioning session at the hotel on Thursday and would get to the field for the first time on Friday.

The players first reported to the national team in the Brazilian city of Curitiba last Friday for a series of physicals. The focus of the preparations in Brazil was to work on the players' fitness.

Maicon, Lucio join squad

Inter Milan players Maicon and Lucio, who had been given a few extra days off after helping the Italian club win the Champions League last Saturday, joined the rest of the group on Thursday. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who also was given time off, reported to the squad earlier this week.

Dunga said the team was extra motivated for the World Cup.

"We know the responsibility we have in a World Cup," said Dunga, who captained Brazil to the 1994 title. "We are all motivated to do our job and reach our goal."

Brazil will play friendlies against Zimbabwe in Harare on June 2 and Tanzania on June 7.

Zimbabwe tourism minister Walter Mzembi said earlier this month that Brazil asked for a $1.8 million US appearance fee to play in Zimbabwe, but on Thursday he wouldn't reveal what Zimbabwe paid.

All he would say was that the fee was being funded by the government and local sponsors, including a cell phone company, a mining company and the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe.

Brazil will play two matches in Johannesburg in the group stage, against North Korea at Ellis Park on June 15 and against Ivory Coast at Soccer City Stadium on June 20. The team's final Group G match, against Portugal on June 25, will be in Durban.

The Brazilians were greeted by local organizing committee chairman Irvhin Khoza.

"You can see that they are confident and serious about this tournament," he said. "The arrival of Brazil gives great confidence to all South Africans that this World Cup is really happening."