Associated Press  |  Last updated February 04, 2013
Luiz Felipe Scolari begins his mission to restore Brazil's flagging fortunes ahead of next year's World Cup with a glamor match against England on Wednesday, one of five high-profile friendlies to kick off international football in 2013. Brazil reached out for its World Cup-winning coach from 2002 after firing Mano Menezes in November, with the national team slipping to a worrying - if slightly misleading - FIFA ranking of No. 18. Scolari has less than 18 months to turn things around before the country hosts its first World Cup since 1950 - and a win at Wembley Stadium would be a nice start in his salvage operation. Also Wednesday, France hosts Germany, the Netherlands is at home to Italy, world champion Spain plays Uruguay in Doha and Lionel Messi's Argentina visits Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden.
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