RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's national soccer team squad has met with the country's president before leaving for South Africa to begin their quest for a sixth World Cup title.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received the team with bear hugs Wednesday in the capital of Brasilia.

The team, led by Real Madrid playmaker Kaka, opens against North Korea on June 15.

The other teams in Group G are Portugal and Ivory Coast in what many are calling the toughest group of the tournament.