4 July 2014 00:25
Luiz Felipe Scolari his fired back at critics of his Brazil team, insisting that they have one hand on the FIFA World Cup trophy.
World Cup hosts Brazil were unconvincing in their last-16 win over Chile last Saturday, needing a penalty shoot-out to make sure of a place in the quarter-finals.
The five-time world champions have attracted much criticism since that dramatic victory but Scolari, who stated that it was Brazil’s destiny to win the World Cup before the tournament, is sticking by his word.
“Do we have one hand on the cup? Yes,” Scolari said in a press conference on the eve of Brazil’s last-eight clash with Colombia in Fortaleza.
“Don’t forget those statements [I made about winning the World Cup before it started]. They were all fantastic. Those statements could not be any different now.
“We are going on to the fifth step now. There are seven in total.”
Brazil legends Zico and Carlos Alberto have both been critical of the players for being over emotional during the national anthem and after the shoot-out triumph against Chile, when Neymar, Julio Cesar and David Luiz all broke down in tears.
Alberto, the World Cup winning captain from 1970, has also been outspoken against Scolari’s use of psychologist Regina Brandao, who visited the squad’s base in Teresopolis on Tuesday.
Scolari, though, insists there was nothing usual about her visit and was glowing in his praise for Brandao.
“It was scheduled and organised. She will come again on Sunday and Monday,” he said.
“She has participated in a very nice way and I will tell you I don’t think she makes us win.
“She isn’t paid anything to do this. I admire psychologists. You can try to seek more information.”
A fiery Scolari also took aim at a selection of journalists, who questioned why they had been denied access from a media briefing with him earlier in the week.
“I can’t talk to all of you,” he said.
“I just sat down with a few people. If you don’t like it, go to hell.”